Safer Driving Is Not Optional
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More than 12 million vehicles were involved in crashes on U.S. roads in 2019 alone. Most of us consider ourselves good drivers, but statistics suggest that more than 90% of collisions are caused by driver errors. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of car crashes and offer tips to promote safer driving.
Pay Attention To Speed Restrictions
Speed restrictions are there to prevent serious injuries. If you crash at high speeds, the risk of severe injuries is significantly higher. When you drive, no matter how far you’re going or where you’re traveling, it’s essential to pay attention to signs and ensure that you comply with the rules. If you break the speed limit, you not only run the risk of sustaining injuries and causing harm to others but you could also be deemed liable for an incident.
If you cause a crash due to negligence, the other party has a right to contact a car accident lawyer and you may hear from the police. Keep an eye out for signs and adjust your speed to cater to the conditions. If visibility is poor, the roads are icy or it’s raining heavily, reduce your speed.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Most of us are used to a hectic schedule, and multi-tasking is the norm. While it’s beneficial to be able to juggle several balls at the same time, it’s crucial to avoid trying to do too much while you’re driving. Focus on the road ahead. If you try to send text messages, read emails or change the radio station, there is a risk of being unable to react to hazards fast enough. Anything can happen when you’re behind the wheel. A bike could come up alongside you, a car could stop suddenly, or a pedestrian could run out from behind a parked car. It’s important to give yourself the best possible chance to identify and respond to hazards. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. If you’re not looking at the road, and you are involved in an accident, you could be held liable for the crash.
Avoid Driving Tired
Tiredness can be incredibly dangerous for drivers because it impairs concentration, focus and reaction speed. If you are tired, you might not be able to spot hazards as quickly as you would normally, your reaction time will increase, and you could even fall asleep behind the wheel. If you are exhausted, delay your journey and take a nap. If you are already on the road, pull over in a safe place, get some fresh air and stretch your legs, and have a caffeinated drink. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you start to notice your eyes dropping, or you’re struggling to stay awake, stop the car when it is safe to do so and continue your journey when you feel more awake and alert.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Data suggests that every day, 28 people in the U.S. lose their lives as a result of crashes caused by drunk driving. Alcohol has a wide range of effects on the body, and even small quantities can elevate the risk of accidents and injuries. When you drink, your reaction time increases and you may be more inclined to take risks. You may also find that you’re not as alert as usual when driving and that you make choices you never would if you were sober. It is illegal to drive under the influence and the penalties are severe. If you do want to enjoy a drink with friends, or you have a night out planned, arrange a cab home, assign a designated driver or use public transport.
Give Other Vehicles Time and Space
Every driver has a responsibility to protect other road users as well as themselves. When you go out in the car, try to ensure that you give other vehicles time and space. Be patient, don’t drive aggressively, and keep your distance, particularly if the conditions are poor. Road rage increases the risk of accidents and it can also make other drivers anxious.
Drive to the Conditions
Driving can be dangerous at any time, but if the weather is unpredictable, or conditions are poor, the risk of crashes increases. If you are heading out in high winds, fog, heavy rain or snow, make sure you drive to the conditions. Slow down, keep your eyes on the road at all times, keep your distance from the vehicle in front, and be prepared to stop suddenly. If there are warnings, and authorities are advising people not to travel, consider postponing your journey. In the winter, it’s wise to make sure that you have warm clothing, bottled water and snacks with you if you’re driving long distances.
Take Heed of Warnings
Most of us are familiar with road signs and advisory notices, but how often do you actually take the time to look at signs and think about what they’re telling you to do? When you’re in a hurry, or you’re an experienced driver, it’s easy to drive past signs without paying them too much attention. Warnings are there to raise awareness of hazards and reduce the risk of collisions. Take heed of traffic and road signs, reduce your speed when advised to do so and be vigilant if you’ve spotted notices on the road flagging poor weather conditions, obstacles in the road, accidents or heavy traffic.
Most of us are confident that we are good drivers, but over 90% of car crashes are caused by driver errors. Whenever you take your car out, make sure that you prioritize safety. Driving carefully will reduce the risk of accidents, helping to keep you and other road users safe. If you are careless, or you break the rules, you could injure yourself and others and you may be liable for legal charges and penalties. Pay attention to your speed, keep your eyes on the road, avoid driving tired, don’t drink and drive and give other vehicles plenty of time and space. Adjust the way you drive to suit the conditions and take heed of warnings and advisory notices.