Hello Oppo! I believe I had done my homework as I wasn't able to find my question on Oppo or Jalopnik. If I missed it, let me know but please leave your comment either way.
About six years ago I was sitting in driver's ed listening to the instructor blab on about insurance. He said something along the lines "so when you get into an accident... That's right. I said 'when', not 'if'... statistically you will be involved in an accident during your lifetime". My first reaction was "oh no! I don't want to be involved in an accident!", followed by "screw you man! You don't know shit, I'm never gonna hit anybody!". And soon after I realized that the two points to avoiding an accident are 1) be a smart driver, and 2) avoid the idiots on the road.
(Full Disclosure: I'm male and 22. According to insurance companies I should be dead, but I've never had any altercation on the road. I'm not here to gloat about my flawless, pristine, amazing and voluptuous driving record; rather I want to know what you do to avoid accidents on a daily basis.)
I haven't been driving for long - 6 years since I've been licensed, 3 since I've owned my own car - and because I'm still in university and live close to school, my only big trips are to back home. These trips range from 100 - 500 km depending on my location (university or co-op in a different city) and I take them as late as possible to avoid traffic. Occasionally when I do drive in traffic I get a little freaked out and tense. There are so many idiots on the road! How do you keep away from them?
At my age my older sister had a few accidents under her belt, so I must be doing something differently. My question to you guys is: how long have you driven without any accidents, were the latest ones your fault, and what tactics do you employ?
A note on fault: sometimes an accident is not your fault, such as being rear-ended. I agree, but not completely. There are things you can do to avoid putting yourself in those situations. For example, I always leave some extra space between myself and the car in front until the guy behind me has come to a complete stop. I try to make sure that I have a free lane or somewhere to go in case I see them approaching too quickly. In a similar fashion I always follow the "leave a 2 second gap on the highway" rule and it has actually saved my ass on one occasion. If I see a maniac on the road I either let them pass or speed up to get away - speeding isn't too safe but I think the temporary risk gives me better options than having him on my tail or in the lane next to me.