If more people would just pay attention, there would be significantly fewer accidents. Yes, there would still be many idiots behind the wheels of their cars, but they, and the accidents they cause can be avoided.
Here are some of ways that I avoid problems.
You’re driving along and see that you are approaching a freeway on-ramp (they should be referred to and used as acceleration ramps, but that’s a subject for another blog post) and you’re in the far right hand lane. Do you stay in the lane and force the merging cars to have to also merge with your vehicle? Or do you move over the the left one lane, and do your part to keep traffic moving? What about when you are approaching a slower moving vehicle? Do you wait until you are right behind it before you decide you need to get over to go around it? It’s those cars that are trying to get over at the last minute that cause most of the accidents, by being a slower moving vehicle themselves attempting to get into the faster moving lane.
I also look out for people wearing neck braces for two reasons. First, they are not very likely to be able to look over their shoulder before changing lanes. Second, it is my belief (I may be right or I may be wrong, but why take a chance, right?) that people who wear neck braces are more likely to play the sympathy card to an investigating officer in the event of an accident, even if an accident was their fault to begin with. Why take a chance, right?
I also avoid cars with existing dents in them. Chances are, if they got into one accident, they are more accident prone in my book, and I avoid those cars. Also, now that they’ve got a dent in their car, it’s possible that they’re not that concerned about getting another. Especially if they didn’t care enough to get the other dent fixed to begin with.
I have successfully avoided being rear-ended four times by using my rear view mirror to see cars coming up on me too fast and me either getting out of their way in time, or honking my horn to cause them to pay attention (yes, even the cars behind you can hear your horn), or by timing my slow down appropriately so I don’t slow down so abruptly that the car behind me (who was following me too closely to begin with) can’t react in time.
If you just get into the habit of paying attention, and being proactive in your driving, rather than reactive, you’ll find that the close calls just keep getting fewer and fewer until the only accidents you can’t avoid, will be the ones in parking lots!