Car accidents are a fact of life. Hundreds happen all across the country every single day, and hundreds of thousands of people every year suffer injuries from them as well as billions of dollars in property damage. While it’s growing more and more inevitable that it’s only a matter of time before the average person is involved in an accident, there are some things you can do to avoid being caught in one, and thus minimize your risk of potentially suffering a serious injury. Here are a few valuable tips for avoiding car accidents.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Distracted driving has quickly risen to become one of the most dangerous and deadly causes of car accidents in the country. According to NHTSA statistics, nearly 3,500 people lost their lives and more than 300,000 people were injured in car accidents in which a distracted driver was involved, making distracted driving one of the leading causes of accidents and injuries on the roads. Perhaps what’s worse is today’s drivers have perhaps never been more distracted: between added “convenience” features, our busy lives, and vehicles that are easier to drive, there are many different reasons a driver can become distracted.
This means the onus is on drivers to avoid distractions while behind the wheel. This starts first and foremost with putting the cell phone away. Under no circumstances should you ever send or read a text message or email while behind the wheel as this takes your hands off the steering wheel, your eyes off the road, and your mind away from the task at hand. You should also avoid things like eating and drinking while driving, changing the in-car entertainment system, and other potentially dangerous behaviors.
Don’t Trust Your Side View Mirrors
We’ve all seen the little message on the passenger side-view mirror of our car: “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” This is just one well-known way of demonstrating that the information in your side view mirrors can be misleading. While these mirrors are designed to tell you what’s going on behind your vehicle in the lanes adjacent to you, it does not tell you what’s going on directly behind you, or alongside your car. In fact, this “blind spot” is the most dangerous space around your vehicle since no mirror actually can help you see it.
If you’re going to change lanes, never simply rely on your side-view mirror to make sure it’s clear. Always turn your head and look over your shoulder to make sure nobody is hiding where your mirrors can’t see them.
Don’t Regularly Slam On Your Brakes
Stopping suddenly is unavoidable in certain situations, but it’s surprising how many drivers will regularly force their brakes to work overtime coming to a stop when approaching a stop sign or traffic signal. If you know you’re going to have to come to a stop up ahead, take your foot off the gas somewhat early and allow your car to coast some of its speed off before gently applying the brakes. Not only will this preserve your brakes for several thousand extra miles, but you’ll give the cars behind and around you a much better indication as to what you plan on doing, including those behind you who will know when to start slowing down.
Don’t Drive Tired
Fatigue is a big threat for drivers. In fact, it’s so big it’s often compared to driving while intoxicated in terms of inhibiting your ability to react to changing situations on the road. While sometimes we can’t help ourselves and we need to hit the roads, it’s important to rest, especially if you’ve been driving for several hours. It’s easy to become weary and exhausted as the miles roll by, but continuing to push yourself only increases the chance of an accident. If you feel yourself getting tired, stop and take a nap, grab a cup of coffee, or switch driving duties with a passenger. These few extra efforts will go a long way towards preventing a devastating car accident.
The simplest way to avoid a car accident is simply to drive carefully and pay attention to what’s going on around you. This also means driving in a way that anticipates the actions of those around you. Never assume a speeding vehicle is going to stop for a red light or that the car waiting at the other side of the stop sign is going to give you the right of way you’re entitled to. While it might be annoying when these drivers break the law, anticipating their actions can help you avoid colliding with them, causing potentially serious and painful injuries.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, a Martin County car accident attorney can help! Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC have stood up to defend the rights of those who have been injured in car accidents for many years. We are determined to help you reach your goals and we are fierce protectors of your best interests, and our trial-tested and proven style of litigation can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you have been injured.Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at 866-675-4427 to request a free case evaluation and start reviewing your options.