Reed Berry (Driving Expert) gives expert video advice on: How dangerous is driving?; How can I cut my chances of a car accident?; How do many accidents happen in parking lots? and more...
How dangerous is driving?
Driving is either one of the least dangerous or most dangerous things you'll ever do, and that depends on you and how you handle your vehicle. It's said that if not operated properly, a car can be as dangerous as a loaded weapon. That's true because you'll have thousands of pounds of metal and a lot of sophisticated gadgetry in newer cars. If you know how to use it, if you know how to maneuver it, it will be one of the safest things and you'll get from point A to point B with no problem. If you don't handle your car safely, if you don't obey the laws, it could be one of the dangerous things you do on a daily basis.
What are the most common causes of car accidents?
One is speed. People tend to drive too fast, and the faster you go, the less control you have of the vehicle. So speed is the primary cause of car accidents. Unsafe lane changes would be another cause of car accidents and one of the most common causes of collisions right now is automobile distractions. Inside the car, outside the car. We're all paying attention to things going on outside the car which you should do as a defensive driver, but people have actually caused car accidents, looking at other car accidents. And while they're doing that, they're also talking on the cell phone, adjusting the radio and drinking from their sipper cup.
How dangerous is running stop signs and red lights?
Many collisions are caused by people running stop signs and red lights. One of the most common violations I hear about is somebody running a stop sign: stop doesn't mean slow and the letters on the stop sign do not stand for slow to observe police. You are supposed to come to a complete stop before making your right turn or proceeding through the intersection. So running a stop sign is a very common cause of collisions as well as running red lights That's why many states are installing red light ticketing cameras so even though the police can't be there 24 hours a day, red light ticketing camera can.
How do many accidents happen in parking lots?
A lot of collisions occur in parking lots and at shopping malls - bigger parking lots where people get inside and think the rules of the road don't apply. Generally, on private property they don't, but in a lot of parking lots signs will be posted as you pull inside saying that the vehicle code is in force and city police are allowed to patrol the premises so you have to drive just as safely and carefully in a parking lot as you would anywhere else on the street. When you're backing out of a parking space in a parking lot a lot of fatalities occur, particularly fatalities of young children, because people don't take time to look behind their car before they back out of a parking space. You don't know if there's an object - a shopping cart, a child - so you always have to physically look behind your car. Don't rely on your mirrors or looking over your shoulder. Look behind your car before you back out of a parking space in a parking lot.
Are many accidents caused by people who don't know the rules of the road?
Many accidents are caused by people who do not know the rules of the road. Failure to yield the right of way is a common cause of collisions, and I think the reason that happens is because people either don't yield the right of way, or even know who has the right of way. That's one of the biggest problems. Everybody thinks they have the right of way, and so they take right of way whether they have it or don't have it. If you're not sure who has the right of way, don't take it. Yield to the other driver, because you'd rather be on the side of caution and be safe, rather than taking the right of way and ending up in a collision. That may cost you your car, time off from work, and a lot of money.
How dangerous is drunk driving?
About 4% of highway fatalities are alcohol-related, so DUI and DWI is a pretty big problem. And "driving under the influence," means driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, too much NyQuil if you have a cold, prescription medications, illegal drugs--driving under the influence. And a lot of people go out and have a drink or two with their friends and say, "Hey, I just had a couple of beers, I'm fine," but a drunk doesn't know when they're drunk. And any alcohol, sometimes even one drink, can impair someone's ability to drive. So the best bet is, don't drive if you've had any alcohol to drink.