Lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reduced the number of vehicles on the roads. Some people got used to traveling above the speed limit because there was so little traffic. Those who hadn’t driven much in the past year are now traveling again, and many are finding that their skills are rusty and their reaction times are slower than they used to be.
With life returning to normal and more people taking to the roads, these factors are contributing to an increased risk of crashes. Here are some tips to stay safe while traveling.
Pay Attention to Signs and Hazards
Be on the lookout for signs, including ones that may alert you to construction work or changes in traffic patterns and speed limits. Particularly in warmer weather, scan the area around you for pedestrians, cyclists, and people riding motorcycles. Slow down and give those individuals more space when appropriate.
Remember that many people haven’t driven in a while or got used to driving carelessly or recklessly. Keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to the actions of other motorists, including dangerous and unexpected maneuvers, so you’ll be able to react quickly.
Don’t just focus on the area immediately in front of you. If you’re traveling in an urban area, make sure you can see at least one block ahead. If you’re driving on a highway, look a mile ahead of you or look at a curve in the road or a hill that you’re approaching. Focusing on what’s going on up ahead will give you time to react if there is a hazard.
Leave Enough Space between Your Car and Other Vehicles
It’s important to leave a cushion between your vehicle and others so you’ll have time to slow down or stop if necessary. If you’re traveling at a low speed, leave at least three seconds between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Give yourself more time to react if you’re traveling at a speed over 40 mph, driving a large vehicle, or traveling in bad weather.
Communicate with Other Drivers
If you got used to traveling when there were few other motorists on the road, you may have gotten lax when it comes to communicating. Now, it’s more important than ever to make your intentions clear to other drivers. Remember to use your turn signals when preparing to make turns or change lanes.
Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage
Life has changed in numerous ways due to the pandemic. Now is a good time to figure out if your car insurance coverage is still appropriate. If you’re planning to continue working from home, for example, you may want to modify your coverage or may discover that you qualify for a discount. Contact Petruzelo to get help comparing rates from several leading insurers.