The Only Smart Driving Tip You Should Read Today

When driving, you need to constantly scan your surroundings to be prepared for any dangerous situation. Keep your eyes moving, constantly checking your rear-view mirrors.

Danger will not always be spotted up ahead. It can come from any direction.

If there are multiple lanes going the same direction as you are traveling, you also need to be aware of what is going on in the lanes beside you. If you're on a 2-way undivided highway, you need to scan the oncoming lane to see what's going on with those vehicles.

For example, if you spot a problem with an oncoming vehicle, you can take defensive action. If the oncoming driver is drifting outside his lane into yours, you may need to move to quickly to avoid a head-on collision.

Let's look at other ways you can maintain awareness of your surroundings.

Using Your Rear View Mirror

The mirror that people use the most is the inside rear-view mirror. Keep your view through the back window unobstructed. That is, don't stack things in the back seat in such as way as to limit your view to the rear.

Before starting your car, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted to your height when sitting comfortably in the driver's seat.

You should glance in the rear view mirror frequently to see if there is something you need to be aware of. For example, if you notice a driver who is dangerously passing the people following you in your lane, you can be sure he will catch up to you within seconds or minutes. This will enable you to keep a good distance between you and the car ahead of you so that the passing motorist will have plenty of room to slide in front of you as safely as possible. Furthermore, you will not attempt to pass the car ahead of you at this moment, knowing there is an aggressive driver coming up behind you.

Using the Left-Hand Mirror

This mirror supports what you noticed in the rear-view mirror. If you saw a vehicle approaching fast, you can now switch your view from the rear-view mirror to the outside left-hand side mirror. This will help you to gauge how quickly he is approaching.

Keep in mind that this could be an emergency vehicle that is not running with lights and sirens but is advancing as quickly as he dares. This side mirror will help you to determine if this is the case.

Using the Right-Hand Mirror

This mirror helps you to be aware of what is happening on the right side of your vehicle. Although motorists are not supposed to pass you on your right side, it's a fact that some do. This is particularly possible if you are slowing down due to a traffic jam or accident in the road ahead. A vehicle in the right lane may not have noticed the blockage up ahead and may end up passing you on the right.

The Notorious Right-Hand Blind Spot

Be aware that there are many blind spots around your vehicle, even with the proper use of mirrors.

The most notorious blind spot for the driver is between the back of the passenger's seat to well beyond the right rear bumper. Accidents happen when a vehicle is hidden in this blind spot area and you attempt to move into the right lane.

The driver who is in your blind spot may see your right blinker because he is almost at your side. Therefore, he may not slow down to let you into his lane.

The solution to this problem is to always turn your head to the right to see if there is a car close to the right side and back of your car. Don't depend on the right-hand mirror. Turn your head and look. It can save you from cutting him off and causing an accident.

Again, you should take care not to stack items in front of the right rear window so that you, the driver, can have a clear view out of it.

You now see why 360-degree awareness is the most important driving tip you'll read today.

You look as far forward as you can and as far back as you can. You use your left-hand mirror to know what is coming up on your left side and behind you. You use your right-hand mirror and turn your head to the right to see if the lane to your immediate right is clear or if anyone is passing illegally on that side.

A driver who is constantly scanning the area surrounding his vehicle is ready for any dangerous situation. The split second advantage that you may gain from spotting trouble as soon as possible may mean the difference between car repairs, medical bills or even life or death.

For more great driving tips that will help you stay safe on the road, visit

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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