Play the What-If Game for a Safer Drive
Driving Defensively Prevents Accidents
Remember when you were a kid, and you played the what-if game? It may have gone something like, “What if you were 11 feet tall and could jump over houses?” Or “What if the floor was lava and you had to make it from the couch to the kitchen?” They were whimsical fun ways to exercise our imagination and help to pass the hours.
Those games can still come in handy today. They’re not quite the same, and the potential outcomes are much more real than melting in fictitious lava. It’s the “What-If” game while you’re driving, so that you can be prepared for just about anything that happens on the road. As we work on being the best collision repair shop in Billings, we want to help guide you to being a safe and courteous driver.
Playing the “What-IF” Game on the Road
As you’re driving, imagine scenarios that could have two possible outcomes. For instance: What if the driver ahead of you slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting an animal? If you are following at a safe distance, the outcome is that you have time to slam on your brakes and avoid a collision. If you’re not following at a safe distance, the outcome is that you crash into the back of that vehicle.
What if the driver on the side street fails to stop at the stop sign? If you’re aware of this possibility, you may be able to swerve around them and avoid a crash. If you’re focused straight ahead (or worse, focused on your cell phone), a deadly collision could occur.
The idea isn’t to think of the worst possible outcome and put you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. The idea is that you should be aware as you drive, so that if something does happen, you aren’t hurt, injured, or killed.
It Boils Down to How to Get Away
You always want to have a way out when you’re driving. If you’re at a light or a stop sign waiting, you want a way out in case someone come barreling up behind you. If you’ve left enough room, you can quickly veer to the side; if you haven’t, you’ll be hit from behind.
If you’re traveling along the road, how are the shoulders? Is there room to swerve around road debris? If you have to drive off the pavement, is it a steep drop?
Are you driving too close to the person in front of you so that you can’t slow down in time? Or are you driving a proper speed and following far enough behind so that you can slow down, or speed up, if necessary?
A Word on Red Lights
It may just be that we are paying more attention to the red light runners, or it may be that the problem is actually getting worse. But it seems that in the past 5 to 10 years, the number of people running lights in Billings has significantly increased. It’s that last second, “I can make it.” push that may end up badly for you, or another.
If you’re at the front of the line, and your light turns green, give it an extra second or two before you nose out into the intersection. Double check to ensure that cross traffic is actually going to stop (especially in the winter when the intersection may be slick).
Avoid Trance Driving and Avoid Big Sky Collision Center
We have all had those moments when we are lost in thought. After a bit we realize that we have driven through a dozen intersections and we can’t recall going through a single one! Studies show that in these times we are actually being safe drivers; our sub-conscious is fully aware of the legal driving procedures. But we aren’t playing the “what-if” game if that happens.
Be sure to pay attention so that you can avoid a collision that would cause you to bring your vehicle down for auto body repairs. Do accidents happen, even if you’re a safe driver? Absolutely. When they do, we hope that you will choose the auto body shop with the most factory certifications. Give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we can schedule a time for you to bring your vehicle in for an estimate, or repairs.