How To Reduce The Risk of Car Accidents

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Car accidents happen quickly. 

The following is probably a very familiar scenario.

The car in the lane beside you loses control.

You try to swerve out of the way, but you’re not quick enough.

You try to brake at the last second.

Your brakes squeal.

Your body jolts around in your car as it slams against the vehicle that has come into your lane. 

Car accidents such as these can lead to injuries, financial hardships, and emotional turmoil. 

If you can take action to prevent car accidents, you should certainly do it.

It may not always be the case, but many times, auto accidents are preventable.

If you understand the leading causes of car accidents,  you can prevent them or at least reduce them. 

Some of these car accident causes may seem obvious. 

However, they are reminders of what to pay attention to while you’re driving.

They will help you become more aware of your surroundings.

Avoid Distracted Driving

The easiest thing you can do to prevent a car accident is to make sure you don’t drive distracted.

You might not think that making the occasional phone call or munching on a snack while driving is a big deal, but it’s estimated that nine people are killed in fatal crashes each day in the US. 

Furthermore, over 1000 people are injured in crashes that involve at least one distracted driver.

Distracted driving is doing anything that takes your attention off the road while driving.

Texting and Driving

Above all else, texting is universally considered to be the worst of all distractions. 

There are about 1.6 million crashes every year caused by cell phones while driving. 

1 out of 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.

Luckily more and more states are banning texting and driving. 

If you’re someone who has a hard time avoiding your phone while driving, these tips may help:

  • Turn off your cellphone, put it on silent, or put it in airplane mode.
  • Invest in a navigation system so you don’t need your cellphone for directions.
  • Keep your phone in the trunk or the backseat.
  • Get an app that doesn’t allow you to text and drive.
  • Let your friends and family know when you’re hitting the road so they’ll know not to bother you while driving.
  • If you have something important that you must send to someone, pullover.

There are other things you can do that will help you avoid distracted driving accidents in general, like:

  • Limiting the number of passengers in your car
  • Pullover and use parking lots if you need to eat
  • Pull to the side of the road if you’re tired 
  • Plan your routes ahead of time, so you’re not looking up directions while driving

If you follow these tips, you can eliminate any distractions that could get you into a car accident, and you’ll have a better focus while you’re behind the wheel.

Don’t Drive Recklessly

Speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are two sure-fire ways to end up in a car accident.

Speed limit signs are in place for a reason.

They’re meant to inform you of the safest speed to travel on that road. 

Speed limits are influenced by traffic, sharp turns, uneven road, and several other factors. 

The faster you drive, the slower your reaction time will be.

When you want to avoid a car accident, you need to have plenty of time to react.

It’s also common knowledge that you lose the ability to focus and function properly when you drink. 

We cannot overstate the dangers of drinking when operating a vehicle. 

Drunk driving is one of the most preventable car wrecks, but there are new drunk driving accidents every day.

Always use a designated driver or a ride service if you go out to drink.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

Even if you’re the best driver in the world, you still can’t control what happens around you. 

Countless things can jeopardize the safety of you and your passengers while you’re on the road.

This is why a defensive driving course can be priceless.

A defensive driving course can teach you safe driving techniques to better control your vehicle in emergencies. 

They can also teach you how to deal with emotional stress, road rage, and fatigue behind the wheel.

Unless you just received your driving license, you probably can’t remember the last time you refreshed your knowledge of driving laws and regulations.

Taking a defensive driving course will refresh your knowledge of the rules of the road.

Whether you’re driving hundreds of miles to go on vacation or you’re driving down the block to the grocery store, there will always be road hazards present.

The best way to protect yourself is to place yourself in a position to avoid potential threats. 

A defensive driving course will teach you the techniques that will help you anticipate and quickly react to various road hazards.

Avoid Adverse Weather Conditions

Weather conditions play a significant factor in car accidents. 

Rain is a common cause of car wrecks, no matter where you live.

It’s important to pay extra attention and be cautious when you drive in the rain. 

Heavy rainfall can create slick and dangerous surfaces for cars, trucks, and motorcycles that can cause automobiles to hydroplane or skid while braking. 

Always drive extra careful when it rains, no matter what kind of vehicle you have.

Winter months can also prove hazardous. 

Snow and water can mix and become sloshy.

Ice is often difficult to see and avoid.

This danger of ice and snow is often escalated because most people do not know the proper protocols.  

The best piece of advice that we can give you is that if it’s icy or snowy outside, don’t drive. 

If you must drive, keep extra distance between you and the car in front of you.

You should drive slowly, go easy on the breaks at stops, and not slam on the brakes if you do hit ice. 

Don’t Follow Too Closely

Tailgaiting the drivers in front of you can easily cause you to rear-end the vehicle you’re tailgating.

Don’t tailgate out of anger.

If you’re not sure how much distance to keep between you and the vehicle in front of you, use the two-second rule.

You should be at least two seconds behind the car in front of you at all times. 

If you’re driving at faster speeds down the highway, make it three seconds.

But how do you know if you’re two seconds behind the car in front of you?

When you’re driving, pick an object on the road like a tree or a sign.

When the car in front of you reaches it, start counting. 

You should count to at least two before you pass the same object.

If your count doesn’t make it to two, you need to back off a bit.

If it’s easier for you, another rule to follow is to put a car length between you and the car in front of you for every 10 miles of the speed limit. 

So if the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, you should put six car lengths between you and the drivers in front of you.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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