Motor vehicles have become essential to our lives, helping us not only get around but providing us the ability to get to our destination quickly and easily. Unfortunately, even with all their benefits, motor vehicles are not without their risks. Every year over 38,000 people lose their lives due to an automobile crash. Those that survive this devastating accident have to endure life-changing injuries, debilitating pain, and astronomical medical expenses that will forever impact their lives.
That is why when you get behind the wheel, your priority needs to be staying safe on the roads. Even though this is not always possible as unexpected things happen all the time, there are things you can do to lower your risk of suffering a catastrophic car accident injury. Here are five safety tips that can get you started.
Learn the Rules of the Road
Before you get into the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle, you need to learn the rules of the road. Meaning you need to understand the state’s laws and make sure you follow these rules and regulations, especially when it comes to:
- The Speed Limit: You need to travel at the speed limit that is posted. Going above the allotted speed limit can increase your risk of being involved in a fatal accident.
- Slow Down in a Construction Zone: If there is construction taking place, make sure you slow down in these areas, especially if workers are present. Additionally, make sure you pay attention to road workers directing traffic and follow their instructions.
- Avoid Tailgating: Not only is riding on someone’s bumper incredibly annoying, but it can increase your chance of being involved in a deadly accident. When driving, you need to make sure you leave enough space between you and the motorist ahead of you so that you can avoid a collision if their car suddenly stops.
Avoid Distracted Driving
When you get behind the wheel, your primary concern needs to be the road in front of you and the other motorists or pedestrians around you. When you start paying attention to other tasks while driving, it causes you to lose focus and increases your risk of being involved in a significant car collision.
To stay safe on the roads, you need to avoid distractions. This means no texting and driving, no eating and driving, no grooming and driving, and if you can, keep phone calls to a minimum.
Do Not Drink and Drive
This rule should be a no-brainer- do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet, people still believe that they are capable of driving when they’ve had one too many alcoholic beverages. Drinking and driving can not only significantly increase your risk of being in an accident, but it also increases your risk of killing yourself or another individual. This is because even after a few drinks, your concentration and reaction time can be affected, and this vulnerability can lead to a dangerous situation when you get behind the wheel.
However, it is also important to note that this does not only mean avoiding alcohol or illegal drugs. Certain prescription medications can also make you feel drowsy and affect your ability to drive. As a general rule, if you feel sleepy while driving, you need to pull over and rest until you can get back on the road safely.
Prepare for Bad Weather
When days are nice and sunny, motorists tend to forget that bad weather can lead to some dangerous driving conditions. Rain and wind, for example, may not seem like a major hazard when driving, but these weather conditions can easily lead to car accidents. That is why before heading out, it is vital to check the weather ahead of time, and if extreme weather conditions are predicted, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or torrential rain, it is best to postpone the trip and stay home. However, if you must drive in poor weather conditions, make sure you travel at slower speeds, leave room in front of you, buckle up, and pay extra attention to the road to avoid getting in an accident.
Driving defensively allows motorists to defend themselves against possible collisions due to poor drivers, drunk motorists, and bad weather. Typically, driving defensively means you are able to avoid dangers on the road by using safe driving practices, which include the following:
- Keep your eyes moving as you look ahead to spot potential hazards. Once you identify a threat, decide what to do and act immediately.
- Be aware of other drivers and focus on what they are doing. However, always expect the unexpected and be prepared to act.
- Ensure there is a two-second cushion between you and the vehicle in front of you. If the weather is bad, turn this cushion into four seconds.
- Always assume that other drivers will do something crazy or chaotic, be prepared to avoid it.
- Always yield at intersections and remain in one lane at all times.
However, sometimes no matter how safe you are driving, accidents happen, and they are often due to another person’s negligent or reckless actions. Yet, do not let these wrongful parties get away with the harm they have caused you. It is time to act and retain experienced legal counsel that can go after the justice you need and the money you deserve for the injuries and losses you suffered due to this car crash.
At the law firm of Allan Berger & Associates, our experienced car accident attorneys are here for you, ready to investigate your accident, secure the evidence needed to prove fault and damages, and go after the financial recovery you are entitled to. That is why if you or a loved one has been harmed in a car crash, contact Allan Berger & Associates today, or call us at 504-526-2222 for a free case review, and let our legal team show you what we can do for you and your claim.