No one ever expects to be in a car accident, but the unfortunate truth is that they happen all too often. In fact, according to statistics, car accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 4 and 34, leading to car accident lawyers fighting in numerous car injury cases. The best way to avoid being involved in a car accident is to drive safely and stick to the rules of the road. Here are a few car accident prevention tips that can help keep you safe:
1. Defensive Driving
Driving defensively is crucial. This involves being totally aware of your surroundings while driving. You should also obey the speed limit. Driving the speed limit is one of the most important things you can do to prevent a car accident. When you drive too fast, you not only put yourself at risk, but you also put other drivers on the road at risk. Obeying the speed limit is the best way to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safely.
2. Never Driving While Impaired
Impaired driving is another leading cause of car accidents. When you drive while impaired, you are not only putting yourself at risk, but you are also putting other drivers on the road at risk. It is important to never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or if you are taking medication that could impair your ability to drive. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have to drive impaired, call a friend or family member to come and pick you up. Never try to drive yourself home.
3. Remain Calm
By remaining calm, you are better able to make decisions that will keep you safe. Calm drivers are less likely to panic, break the speed limit or drive recklessly.
One way to remain calm while driving is to focus on the task at hand. This means remaining aware of your surroundings and being prepared to take action if necessary. It also means not allowing yourself to be distracted by things happening inside or outside the car.
Another way to stay calm behind the wheel is to be patient. Remember that it’s not worth getting angry over a traffic jam or slow driver. Instead, take a deep breath and relax.
4. Check Your Tires
Check your tires regularly for uneven wear or damage. Uneven tire wear or noticeable tread wear could mean that the tires are under-inflated, over-inflated, or out of alignment. Make sure to ask your mechanic to check them out if you are unsure about anything. Also, make sure all tires are properly inflated. Press down on the tire’s sidewall. If it doesn’t feel firm, or you can see the tire’s fabric, then your tires are under-inflated.
5. Keep Your Car in Tune
Just like you, cars need regular maintenance check-ups to stay in tip-top shape. Make sure your car gets regular tune-ups and check-ups at the mechanic to ensure it’s always running smoothly. Keeping your car tuned up can help reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident.
6. Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is just as dangerous as impaired driving. Make sure you are completely paying attention to the road when you are behind the wheel. Avoid eating, drinking, talking on your cell phone, texting, changing radio stations and programming GPS. Driving distractions are common causes of car accidents.
7. Wear Your Seat Belt
Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your chances of being injured in a car accident. More than 50% of all vehicle occupants killed in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts. Always wear your seat belt, even if you are just driving down the street or parking the car.
8. Do Not Drive If You Are Exhausted
Driving when you are exhausted puts you and other drivers at risk. If you are feeling tired, simply pull up and take a break or ask a friend to drive.
9. Slow Down When Driving in Inclement Weather
When you drive in inclement weather, such as rain or snow, you need to slow down and increase the distance between your car and other cars on the road. This can help you avoid a car accident.
10. Keep a Safe Distance Between Other Cars
Driving too closely behind another car or tailgating is an often-overlooked element in car safety. This puts you at risk of having to suddenly stop or swerve. It also leaves you little time to avoid a rear-ending accident, so keep your distance.
You should allow at least two seconds of space between the cars. This gives you enough time to stop if the car in front of you brakes suddenly. You should also increase the distance between your car and other cars when driving in inclement weather or on a busy highway.
To reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident, always wear your seat belt and drive carefully. If you notice any irregularities with your tires or anything else about the way you are driving, be sure to get it checked out by an expert right away. Even if everything seems fine on the surface, there could still be underlying problems that will come back to bite you later on down the road.