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9. Auto Accidents: Causes & Prevention

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Poor Visual Search & Decision Making

Poor Visual Search

When you drive, you should keep your eyes moving and look for potential hazards all around your vehicle.

Do not focus on the back of the car ahead of you. Look for the stoplights of vehicles ahead of you, vehicles that may attempt to merge, and pedestrians who may enter the roadway. Make sure to be aware of traffic signs which warn you of upcoming road conditions.

Don’t just assume that a signal light will still be green by the time you reach it. Signal lights which have been green for a long time are called “stale greens” and are likely to change soon. Be aware of how long a light has been green so that you are ready to react if the light turns yellow before you arrive at the intersection.

When slowing down, merging, changing lanes, passing, or making a turn, it is particularly important to be aware of where vehicles, pedestrians, and objects are around your vehicle. Check your mirrors and blind spots before attempting any of these maneuvers. If you cannot see the roadway ahead because of a large vehicle, such as a truck or SUV, make sure to give yourself additional space in front of your vehicle so you are able to react in an emergency situation. You may want to change lanes so that you can see what is going on ahead of you.

Poor Decision Making

Making a poor decision while driving can also result in an accident. Poor decisions can be a result of:

  • not knowing the law
  • disregarding the law
  • taking unnecessary risks

It is your responsibility to know and follow the rules of the road. If you get into an accident because you fail to yield to other vehicles and pedestrians at a YIELD sign, for example, you will be found at fault for the accident. Ignorance is not an excuse for failing to obey vehicle laws.

Drivers take unnecessary risks while driving and make poor decisions for a number of different reasons. Drivers who are in a hurry or who are showing off are particularly likely to make poor driving decisions which result in an accident. Remember that accidents as a result of making poor decisions are 100% avoidable.


Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 9 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. Teenage drivers have a total accident rate that is _____ times that of adults:


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  2. If you are distracted for one second, by a cell phone, passenger, or other distraction, at 30 mph you will travel how far "blindly"?


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  3. If you have a tire blowout:


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  4. Failure to yield is the primary cause of what percentage of fatal and injury collisions?


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  5. To avoid tailgating, and help avoid a rear-end collision, you should give yourself a gap of how many seconds behind the car in front of you?


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