A car accident is a very tragic event that could change the victims’ lives. Based on the 2020 motor vehicle statistics of the National Safety Council, 42600 lives were lost due to a car accident. It is an 8% increase over 2019. In every 12 minutes, one person dies. These figures are very alarming. It only shows that we must be more responsible in driving a vehicle. Not just for the driver and passengers, but also for other people around. Though an accident could happen anywhere at any time, you could still be prepared and skillful to avoid it. Here are ways on how to prevent a car accident.
1. Fasten Your Seat Belts At All Times
Wearing a seat belt while driving is a law in many countries for a reason. It was proven to save lives. It doesn’t matter if your trip is short or long, buckling up should be a habit. It’s very easy to do and only takes seconds. All cars must have seat belts and be worn at all times.
Even you are driving carefully but when another vehicle crash on you, the result could still be tragic. Everyone in the vehicle should wear a seat belt to prevent worse injuries in an event of a car accident. Especially for kids, they should always have a booster until they can wear a seat belt comfortably. Children must sit only on the back passenger seats. They are not allowed in the front seat until 12 years old.
2. Avoid Any Distractions While Driving
Many cases of accidents involve distractions like using a phone, eating, browsing the media player, and more. A few seconds of being distracted could result in an accident. When driving, you must concentrate only on it. If you need to do something else, you could just pullover over to a safe area and do whatever you need to do. Your attention must always be on the road. Beware of things around you, especially other vehicles. Don’t drive while doing other things at the same time.
Your concentration on driving will avoid the risk of hitting other vehicles and people. You could also avoid other drivers that are not paying attention to the road. When you fully concentrate on driving, you also prioritize safety above other things.
3. Don’t Drink And Drive
When a person is drunk, all of his or her senses are not active and sharp. The driver is not capable to concentrate on the road and operate the vehicle properly. This is a very dangerous and reckless act. Some accidents involve other innocent people because of a drunk driver. Whenever you go out and plan to drink, you should have a designated driver. You could also just hire a taxi or a ridesharing service.
4. Don’t Race, Follow the Speed Limit
Being a responsible driver is following traffic signages. We can see designated speed limit signs in different locations. Each area only allows a certain speed for safety. There could also speed limits because of the traffic situation, road conditions, and other reasons that always consider everyone’s safe travel.
Some people love the intensity and thrill of speed. But going fast beyond the speed limit is reckless and dangerous. Public roads are not race tracks and never should be one. Innocent people’s lives are at stake due to this foolish action. Be responsible and follow the speed limit to prevent a car accident.
5. Don’t Stay Long On Fast Lane
The fast lane could be a dangerous section of the highway sometimes. This is where drivers are usually going fast. If a vehicle is traveling at speed, the chance to avoid an accident is smaller because you don’t have enough time to react. This is where some cars get out of control that leads to a collision.
When using the fast lanes, put extra attention on the road. Maintain a proper distance from other vehicles around you. Follow the maximum and minimum speeds allowed. Change lane responsibly and use turning indicators properly.
6. Be Cautious On Your Surroundings
It is a good habit to concentrate on the car and road in front of you but you also have to check your surroundings. Look at your side and rear mirrors periodically. If you are going to turn or change lanes, you must look in the direction you are going. Be mindful of other cars near you before changing directions. Look for any obstructions, potholes, people, or anything that could be hazardous. Monitor your blind spots before making a move. Follow the speed limit so you could have time to react on possible sudden dangers.
7. Sticking In Your Lane
Stay in your lane as possible. Especially when driving on a long stretch of a busy road, it is safer to stay in your lane. If you have to change lanes or direction, always be cautious. Avoid cutting other cars off on their lane. Let other cars pass by on you and concentrate on your driving. Maintain a distance from the car in front of you and drive at the allowed speed.
By doing this, you avoid the danger of crashing with other vehicles on other lanes. It could help maintain or improve the traffic flow as well. We must have discipline in using these lanes and be safe.
8. Keep Distance From The Car In Front
Don’t tailgate the car ahead of you. Regardless of the traffic speed is, you must maintain a significant space or at least 2 seconds from the car in front. This will prevent you from crashing with the car when the driver suddenly slammed the brakes. Because of the maintained distance, you could still react and apply brakes safely.
When you avoid tailgating, your car will also benefit. You put less wear to your brakes when you stop properly unlike doing sudden braking. Aggressive braking puts too much stress on the braking mechanism which causes premature wear and malfunction. If you have bad driving habits and not maintaining important car parts like the brakes, this could lead to an accident.
9. Be Cautious Of Emergency Vehicles
Ambulances and fire trucks are examples of emergency vehicles. These vehicles are allowed to disregard traffic signals due to emergency reasons. We must consider these scenarios on the road and beware of the situation. Ambulances and fire trucks could pass through a traffic intersection even it is currently on the red light. Some cities have the technology to control the traffic lights instantly while others have the control through the emergency vehicle itself.
You must give way to these vehicles and let them pass safely. Whenever there’s one behind you while driving, let them pass by moving to your right onto the shoulder. These vehicles could approach fast so you should be extra careful.
10. Keep Both Hands On The Wheel
To ensure full control of the car, you must keep your two hands on the steering wheel. Especially in an emergency, this will help you maneuver your car safely. A car accident could happen in a second and you should keep using both hands at all times. Your hands must be in the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position of the steering wheel. This habit allows more flexibility when sudden adjustment of direction is required.
11. Use Your Turning Indicators Properly
A driver should make it a habit to use a turning signal when changing directions. Use it properly by turning them on ahead of time and make sure that it is in the right direction. You must give a warning to the vehicles around on where you will be going next. Do it ahead of time so they have to react accordingly. Especially on highways where vehicles are fast, it is an effective way to communicate with other drivers and prevent a car accident.
12. Don’t Drive When Drowsy Or Tired
When you feeling tired and drowsy, don’t drive. It is a reckless action that could result in an accident. A person’s reflexes and concentration are not fully active when feeling drowsy. You cannot perform a proper driving operation if you are tired.
If you already feel tired in the middle of your driving, try to find a place where you could take a rest for a moment. If you are with someone who knows how to drive, it’s better to make a switch and take a rest. Don’t force yourself to continue driving in this condition. It is for your safety and other motorists.
13. Don’t Drive During Bad Weather
As much as possible, avoid driving when the weather condition is bad. The road condition is dangerous for the motorists. It could be too slippery because of snow or rain, visibility is not good, flying hazards due to the wind, and more. Your vehicle may not perform properly as well due to these conditions. During this time, it’s better to stay at home.
If you are in the middle of your travel and caught in a storm, you should perform the following to keep you safe as possible.
- Keep your headlights on
- Don’t forget to use your turning signals when changing directions
- Drive slowly
- Keep distance from other vehicles
- Use your wipers and change the speed according to the rain intensity
- When it is fogging up, defrost your windshield
You shouldn’t drive in the snow. Especially rear-wheel drive cars, it will be more difficult to control in this road condition. If you need to drive, go very slow. Put gentle pressure on the gas and brake pedals to maintain control of the vehicle. Prevent a car accident by keeping distance from other vehicles.
14. Be More Careful When Driving At Night
Even you can drive at night, you still can’t avoid reckless drivers. Especially in the late evening, it is the time when you could encounter more irresponsible drivers. They could be driving under the influence, do speeding, perform reckless driving, and more. All of these could result in an accident which even innocent people can be a victim. Visibility is already not that good as daytime and these reckless drivers make the situation more dangerous. When you drive at night, always be more cautious. Use your headlights, accessory lights, and turn signals properly. Be more cautious on road hazards and you must follow the speed limit.
15. Control Your Emotions
When you are angry, don’t drive. Your emotion could affect your driving behavior which could lead to an accident. Especially when you are angry, you probably find yourself into road rage. You might also drive aggressively so fast and will not be able to control the vehicle.
Your judgment could be compromised by your emotion. Relax first and cool your jets. Make sure that you are in the right emotional condition before going behind the wheel again.
16. Maintain Your Car Regularly
Aside from human errors, mechanical and technical issues could cause a car accident. As car owners, we are responsible to ensure that our vehicles are roadworthy. The performance of the car affects your driving and safety. You could avoid these issues by conducting regular maintenance checks on our cars. You could start on these before hitting the road.
- Check the air pressure of the tires
- Clean mirrors for better visibility
- Replace windshield wipers when needed
- Ensure that your engine is still performing well
- Check the water and oil
- When you are experiencing mechanical issues visit your trusted mechanic
17. Be A Mature Driver
As a driver, you are accountable to yourself, your passengers, and other people’s safety. You should train yourself to be a more skillful driver with good judgment on different road situations. Practice defensive driving and follow traffic rules at all times. Don’t let emotions get into your judgment that will compromise your driving and safety. Prevent a car accident by always keep a mature attitude on driving.
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. You could be suffering from injuries that might require a long recovery period. You might be facing expensive medical treatments and medicines which affect your finances. Work and income opportunities might be delayed or gone. And worse, a car accident could result in the loss of a loved one. Think about these consequences before you drive and go reckless. Not only yourself, but other innocent people’s lives could change permanently. Drive safely to prevent a car accident.
If you are a victim of a car accident, you are entitled to file a claim that could cover all the costs of damages and injuries you have experienced. Whether it is financial, physical, emotional, or property damages, all of these will be covered by filing a claim. It is a complex and confusing process but an experienced personal injury lawyer could help you. Call Freeway Law at (844) 443-7339 for a free consultation.