Driving in California can sometimes be challenging and dangerous, especially during the holidays, when there are many drunk or distracted drivers on the road. Intersections are inherently more dangerous than others. However, a driver can help improve his or her own safety by keeping several tips in mind when approaching a crossroad.
Covering the brake alerts drivers behind that a stop is imminent
To cover the brake means to lightly place the driving foot over the brake pedal, just enough to activate the brake lights but not stop the vehicle. This is a good habit to implement when approaching an intersection. It signals the drivers behind that there is likely to be full stop coming, which helps avoid rear-end collisions.
Do not immediately go when a traffic light turns green
“Green means go” is a common phrase that new drivers learn when they first get behind the wheel. A lot can happen in a span of a few seconds at an intersection, however, which is why it is always best to hesitate for a moment before accelerating when the traffic light turns green. This provides an opportunity for a driver to carefully scan the surroundings, making sure all vehicles that are supposed to be stopped are, indeed, stopped and that there are no pedestrians in the roadway before proceeding through the intersection.
Hold down the brake for one second when another car is in front
When a driver’s vehicle is in a line of traffic at an intersection stop light, timing is important for safety when the light turns green. When the vehicle in front starts moving, it is best to hold the brake for a second before entering the intersection after the front car. This provides a cushion, in case the front car is hit or the vehicle in question is hit from behind. If another driver’s negligence causes a collision that results in injury, the recovering victim may want to consider filing a personal injury claim to seek compensation for damages.