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What to do when other drivers make critical mistakes

Most accidents are caused by human error, so knowing how to react when another driver makes a critical mistake could save your life. You must know what to do in advance. Here are three different situations and how to react.

1. An oncoming car drifts into your lane.

Quickly honk your horn and flash your lights. There is a good chance the driver is texting or otherwise distracted, so getting his or her attention may help you avoid the crash. As you do this, though, look for an escape route. This may mean driving toward the shoulder to avoid the crash. Keep your eyes on where you're going, not the car coming at you.

2. Someone starts tailgating you.

In some cases, tailgaters are fairly passive and do not realize that they're far too close. In other cases, they are aggressive and honk, trying to get you to move. Do it. Just pull over when it is safe to do so, letting that vehicle pass. Do not engage the driver or escalate the situation.

4. A car is going to rear-end your vehicle.

You're sitting at a light when you see that the car in your mirror is not slowing down. There's nowhere to go, and you're about to be in a rear-end accident. Take your foot off of the brake. Even if you cannot get out of the way, this can reduce the severity of the crash since your car can move during the impact.

Of course, even knowing how to react will not prevent all accidents. Be sure you know about your rights to seek financial compensation.

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