Auto accident attorney: The roads can sometimes feel like a dangerous game of tag. You almost always see another car coming around the bend and you’re constantly adjusting your speed and watching for potential hazards. Unfortunately, not everyone on the road is as cautious as you are. This means that every time you get into your car, there’s an inherent risk that something could happen. But does that mean you have to resign yourself to a life filled with constant stress and anxiety every time you get in your car? Of course not! Prepared drivers are safer drivers. By arming yourself with knowledge about the causes of auto accidents, the best ways to avoid them and some quick tricks for staying out of harm’s way, you can mitigate much of this danger before it even begins. Here are 10 ways to avoid an auto accident:
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Top 10 Ways to Avoid an Auto Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 6 million accidents and almost 250,000 injuries from motor vehicle crashes in 2016. That’s one crash and injury every 40 seconds, or about 360 crashes and 740 injuries per day. It is estimated that 90 percent of all car accidents are preventable. Even if a driver makes a mistake or another driver behaves irresponsibly, there are ways to mitigate the risk of an auto accident. Keeping your eyes on the road, checking blind spots, avoiding peak driving times and taking precautions before you get into your car can all help keep you safe on the road. Here are some auto safety tips to help reduce your risk of being involved in an accident:
Always wear your seat belt.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that seat belts reduce the risk of death in a car crash by 50 percent and decrease the risk of serious injury by 60 percent. Seat belts have been mandatory in the United States since the 1950s, but millions of people still don’t wear them. If you or a loved one drives without a seat belt, your risk of fatality or serious injury increases significantly in the event of an accident. Always wear a seat belt, and make sure any passengers in your car wear one, too. If you have toddlers or young children, make sure they use a booster seat until they are big enough to fit properly in a seat belt.
Always keep your eyes on the road.
Auto accident attorney: There are a lot of things to watch out for while driving: potholes, road construction, pedestrians, cyclists and other cars. Keeping your eyes on the road may seem obvious, but it’s one of the most common causes of car accidents. If your eyes are focused on your phone, you risk slamming into another car or running off the road. If you’re trying to text with one hand and steer with the other, you’re not giving either task your full attention. Even if you are only reading a text, you risk missing a stop sign or red light. Put down your phone, and keep your eyes on the road.
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Don’t text and drive.
We’ve all seen it happen at least once: a driver is so focused on their phone that they don’t notice a red light, stop sign or other car. While you may feel like you can keep your eyes on the road at the same time, the dangers are very real. If you are driving while texting, you are 23 times more likely to be in a car accident. Almost all states have laws in place that prohibit using digital devices while driving. If you see someone driving and texting, you can report them by calling 911.
Don’t drink and drive.
Drunk driving is dangerous and illegal, and it is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one in three people will drive under the influence at some point in their lives. Drinking and driving is a bad idea for a number of reasons, including the fact that it significantly raises your risk of being in a car accident. If you are pulled over for drunk driving, you will face serious legal consequences, including large fines and jail time.
Check your tire pressure and maintenance schedule.
Proper tire maintenance is important for safe driving. Underinflated tires increase your risk of an accident, and overinflated tires can lead to decreased gas mileage and uneven wear. If your tire pressure is too low, you could also experience significantly more wear on your brakes. If you are not sure what the recommended pressure is for your car’s tires, check the owner’s manual or ask a mechanic to help you find the right pressure. All vehicles should be maintained according to manufacturer guidelines. You should also have your car checked regularly, especially during the winter months when your car is more likely to break down.
Avoid driving at night.
Driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that you can’t see as well at night, wildlife and other animals are more active after sunset and other drivers may be more fatigued. These risks make driving at night significantly more dangerous, so try to avoid it if you can. If you have to drive after dark, be sure to increase your following distance and use your high beams whenever possible.
Know where you’re going and pay attention to the road ahead.
Auto accident attorney: While this should go without saying, you should always know where you are going before you get in your car. If you have a GPS unit or use a smartphone navigation app, make sure you are looking at it while you are driving and not relying on the device’s voice commands. Additionally, make sure to pay attention to the road ahead. Use your mirrors to keep an eye on traffic behind you, and keep an eye out for potential hazards ahead, like road construction or a pedestrian stepping off the sidewalk.
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Get an oil change and tune-up before the weather changes.
Even if your car isn’t making any noises or showing any signs of trouble, it’s important to get an oil change and tune-up as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. This is especially important in the winter months, when your car is more likely to break down due to decreased oil flow, worn belts and hoses and decreased cooling system efficiency. A tune-up will help keep your engine running at its best. An oil change will help keep your car running smoothly and keep your engine from overheating. A regular maintenance schedule is important, even if your car is running fine. Regular maintenance can catch potential problems before they become serious, resulting in less expensive repairs in the long run.
Auto accident attorney: Auto accidents are scary, but they don’t have to be. By following these auto safety tips, you can reduce your risk of being involved in an accident and make sure to drive as safely as possible. If you ever find yourself in an accident, be sure to follow the proper protocol and be prepared for the aftermath. Whether you are the driver or a passenger in an accident, it is important to remain calm, follow the instructions of the authorities and be prepared for the aftermath.