Safety tips for driving an SUV in California

Knowing the proper way to drive an SUV can help prevent accidents and make for safer drivers.

Your specific needs, driving habits and preferences all play a part in the type of vehicle you choose while driving in California. If you use your vehicle for work, have a large family or simply like the feel of driving a larger vehicle, you might prefer to sit behind the wheel of an SUV. That being said, it is vital you know how to drive your vehicle the right way to better avoid a motor vehicle incident and be more comfortable on the open road.

Get used to handling your SUV

If you have never driven an SUV or another large vehicle before, it is best you do more than a short test drive before driving it regularly. Find an empty parking lot or another open space where you can get used to turning, cornering, handling and how the vehicle performs, which can be quite different than what you are used to. This is better than being at fault for a preventable accident or potentially scratching up your new vehicle because you took a turn too tight.

Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles

Just like large trucks need more room to come to a complete stop, the same is true of large vehicles like SUVs. Get used to leaving more stopping room between you and other vehicles, which means increasing your following distance. If you have yet to buy your SUV, it is best to choose a model that comes with anti-lock brakes.

Know how much weight your SUV can carry

While SUVs can bear a heavier load than small vehicles like sports cars, they have their limitations. Consult your owner's manual to know just what those limitations are, and be sure to respect them. Because extra weight means you will need even more braking distance, be sure to drive slowly and take it easy on your brakes when carrying a heavy load.

Practice emergency maneuvers

Knowing how your SUV handles in an emergency is another reason to take time to get used to driving it. While you might have been able to whip your steering wheel around without a problem in a smaller vehicle, overcorrecting can lead to a rollover and losing complete control of the vehicle. Get used to steering your vehicle from one direction to another as smoothly as you can. While some instincts are hard to change, making an effort to retrain yourself is sure to come in handy during emergency situations.

Learning how to drive an SUV in California can go a long way in avoiding accidents, but there is still no accounting for other drivers. Should you be hit by another motorist or involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, take your case to an attorney.