Most people feel comfortable behind the wheel of a vehicle by the time they’re out of their teen years. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that they’re always safe. In fact, the average driver will have to file an auto accident claim once every 17.9 years, and even more disheartening is the fact that over 30,000 people die in motor vehicle collisions yearly. Fortunately, there are a few ways that a person can mitigate these risks.
1. Avoid Cell Phone Use
Avoiding cell phone use is absolutely essential. The majority of accidents on American streets are related to distracted driving, and one of the most distracting behaviors is using a cell phone. In fact, it’s not even texting that’s the only danger in play. In reality, even speaking on a phone can increase a person’s chances of being in an accident, so it’s best to wait until one reaches their destination before “going mobile.”
2. Use Caution When Changing Lanes
Improper lane changes are a leading cause in serious automobile accidents. While most people feel safe with a quick glimpse in their side mirror, the reality of the situation is that all vehicles have a blind spot. In addition, two vehicles merging into the same lane on a three lane or merging highway can end in the same result.
3. Always be Alert
A recent story out of Tampa makes it obvious just how important remaining alert while driving really is. An accident that killed five people resulted from a driver heading down the wrong side of the road in a full-sized SUV. Four of the casualties were those in a vehicle the SUV hit head on.
While anything from drug use to fatigue could explain this accident, it shows just how vital it is to avoid factors that can reduce one’s attention. Sadly, it’s also possible that the victims could’ve avoided the crash had they been more alert. While the victims’ family members may be able to secure financial compensation for their loss with the help of a Tampa car accident lawyer, since legal professionals often successfully file wrongful death suits, there’s no argument that staying alive through alertness is far preferable.
4. Keep Track of Hunters
While hunters don’t really pose a threat to those on America’s roads, keeping track of their hunting seasons can definitely help. Most states mandate a “deer season” when herd populations abound, and with increased deer running around, the chances of colliding with one also increase.
5. Pass on the Alcohol
Alcohol is a leading contributing factor related to fatal car accidents, so drinking and driving should be avoided at all costs. Not only does this behavior endanger others on the road, but a person who gets behind the wheel drunk is undoubtedly putting their own life in danger.
6. Always Wear a Seat Belt
Seat belt use is among the highest defense against hazards on the road. These hazards can come in the form of many ways such as distracted, impaired or aggressive driver, and many more. Seat belt use reduces a person’s chances of dying in an auto crash by 50 percent. This is strictly common sense. Wearing a seat belt can be vital to surviving an accident. It is important that all parties in the car, the driver and any passengers, all where their seat belts to decrease the chance of injury and death.
7. Keep Vehicle Well-Maintained
A well-maintained vehicle will last a person much longer, but in addition, it can keep them safe on the road. Any sudden mechanical malfunction can cause a serious accident to take place. From an exploding tire to an overheating motor, there’s no mechanical failure that can’t prove deadly on the road.
8. Do Not Speed
In 2008 alone, speeding contributed to nearly a third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. It doesn’t matter how much time a person will save; speeding is never a good idea.
9. Avoid Following Closely
Following too closely results in countless accidents every single year. Fortunately, the majority of these accidents are minor, but they can prove serious at times. Additionally, if someone rear ends another vehicle, it’s likely that they’ll be cited as negligent.
10. Use Caution during Inclement Weather
Stormy or cold weather can prove especially dangerous out on the roads. This is why everyone should slow down and use additional caution when driving in these conditions.
Although driving a vehicle does increase a person’s risk of being in a serious accident, this is usually a necessary risk due to the responsibilities of the modern world. Fortunately, anyone who follows the aforementioned tips can greatly reduce their chance of being involved in a collision. In the modern day and age, this is really all that a person can hope for.