Five Ways to Avoid a Car Accident
Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2022 at 7:04 pm
After years of driving without incident, drivers might grow complacent about their ability to remain safe and accident-free on the road. But accidents can happen at any time to anyone. Sadly, there are approximately 98 fatal crashes every day in the United States, according to 2020 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Here are five reasonable recommendations to keep driving accident-free.
Take Care of Your Car
Cars require routine maintenance to remain in tip-top shape. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, wiper blade replacements, tire pressure checks, headlight replacements, and coolant level checks. When you fail to properly maintain your car, you increase the risk of a part or system malfunction on the roadway. Not only can this result in your getting into an accident, but it could also cause an accident that involves other cars, putting other drivers and passengers at risk of injury or death.
Make sure you know the maintenance schedule for your car, which can usually be found in your car’s owner’s manual. Each car’s schedule will be different. For example, some cars may need an oil change more frequently than others. Follow the maintenance schedule with precision and keep good records of when each maintenance is completed.
Don’t Get Distracted
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people were killed in accidents by distracted driving in 2020. Distractions while driving are ubiquitous. These include text messages, phone calls, passengers, the radio, apps on your phone, primping in the mirror, and anything else that takes your eyes, hands, or focus off the road. All it takes is a second of looking away from the road for an accident to occur.
To remain focused on driving, minimize all distractions in your car. Leave your cell phone in your purse or pocket. There are even apps on your phone that will silence it while you are driving. If the temptation to use your phone is too powerful, leave it in your back seat or trunk. If an urgent matter requires your attention, pull off the road before you pick up your phone. Ask your passengers not to disturb you while you are driving. With some passengers, like your children, this may not be easy or even possible. Whenever you need to attend to needy passengers like your children, pull off the road and come to a complete stop before doing so.
Do Not Drive Under the Influence
Never, under any circumstances, drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even one drink can impair your ability to operate a vehicle. Not only does it put you at risk of injury or death, but it also puts others at risk, including your passengers, other drivers and their passengers, and bystanders.
Some medications can also cause you to be so impaired that you can’t drive safely. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before driving while taking medications, and certainly refrain from driving while taking any medication that expressly directs you not to.
Drive with Caution in Hazardous Conditions
Certain conditions are more hazardous to drive in than others. For example, inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, or a wintry mix, can cause slick roads and easily lead to a loss of traction. Take precautions and drive slower during inclement weather conditions.
Even on clear days, conditions such as heavy traffic or roadway construction can increase the likelihood of car accidents. Whenever you encounter a hazardous condition, however ordinary it may seem, slow down and proceed with caution.
Obey All Road Signs
Road signs are there for a reason: to keep you and other drivers safe. Whether it’s a speed limit sign, a stop sign, a school zone sign, a pedestrian crossing sign, or a no-U-turn sign, follow its instructions. It is there for your and your community’s protection.
Similarly, when approaching a traffic light, obey the traffic signals. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 3,274 traffic fatalities occurred in 2018 involving a signalized intersection, including 846 fatalities involving red-light running. When you see a red light, come to a complete stop. When you see a yellow light, slow down. A yellow light is not an indicator to speed up to make it through the intersection before the red light.
When Accidents Occur, Contact Us
Even if you follow all these recommendations, you may still find yourself in an accident with another driver who did not take reasonable measures to drive safely. If you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, contact the Cincinnati car accident attorneys of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC at (513) 351-5997 to see how we can help you seek compensation from the negligent driver.