Bad drivers and how to avoid them

Senior+Xavier+Sullivan+is+a+second+year+staff+writer+on+the+Elkhart+Memorial+GENESIS+staff.+He+specializes+in+opinion+columns.+

Jahlea Douglas

Senior Xavier Sullivan is a second year staff writer on the Elkhart Memorial GENESIS staff. He specializes in opinion columns.

Xavier Sullivan, Staff Writer

Have you ever found yourself paying a little extra attention to the road on certain days? Seen an abnormal amount of traffic violations lately? Well, you’re not alone.

I often find myself looking twice before crossing an intersection, as too many times  I have seen self-important people in SUV’s not signaling a lane change, or pick-up trucks barreling through intersections long after their light has turned red. Be on the wrong end of that and you’ll find yourself locked into an absurdly long insurance battle to settle an incident that you were clearly not at fault for.

Unfortunately, this happens all too often, but it’s 100% avoidable. We can’t stop morons from getting behind the wheel, but there are precautions that can be taken to avoid a situation with them. 

First: Be vigilant.

See, and be seen. Make sure your car is visible, particularly when visibility conditions are poor. Ensure that your windshield is scraped off, and your lightbulbs are working, and that you’re using your headlights when needed. Keep an eye out for other drivers too. Never assume that anyone else on the road will follow traffic law, as you never know who is going to change lanes without signaling and cut you off. 

Second: Use a dash cam.

It cannot be stressed enough the importance of driving with a dash cam. If someone brake checks you, and lies to the police officer saying you rear ended them, you have proof of your innocence. And as an added bonus, you will also have proof that the bad driver just blatantly lied to the officer with malicious intent, and falsely accused you of something you aren’t responsible for. 

Third: Just be careful.

Keeping a safe driving practice can go a long way to ensuring your safety. Driving slow in low visibility, signaling in advance, and keeping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you will significantly reduce the chances of you being involved in a car crash. Use common sense and good judgement when you’re unsure. Don’t drive indecisively, but don’t be too assertive either. Have a clear path of where you want to go in mind.

Overall, just keep your eyes peeled for other bad drivers on the road, and you’ll be in a good position. Always remember never to panic should someone do something like brake check you. And if an accident does occur, clear the road. If possible, and if safe to do so, clean up large debris, so that other drivers won’t have to worry about running them over. Call the police, who will investigate the incident, as well as cite those at fault. And while you’re waiting for them to arrive, take pictures of the damage, and the license plates of everyone involved as well, just for insurance purposes. 

All said, just be safe. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on the road to driving success!

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Xavier Sullivan at [email protected]