Car accidents are unfortunately common, yet usually preventable. To many, the term “car accident” is not accurate; many believe a driver is responsible for a collision and that the “accident” wasn’t really an accident all. With over 272 million cars on the road in the United States, the odds of getting in a fatal car accident are one in 77.
Whether you drive once a week or drive for a living, there are ways to help prevent a car collision before it happens. By using any or all of these ten tips, you can keep yourself and others safer on the road.
Get Situated Before Moving Your Car
Prior to putting your car in drive, prepare everything you’ll need on your trip. Set up air-conditioning, defrost your windows, put on a playlist or podcast, set up directions, and buckle up. Once you are ready, proceed to drive. Taking care of the various elements of your drive prior to moving your vehicle will help keep you focused on the one thing you should be focused on: driving.
In 2017, 2,549 additional lives could have been saved if everyone had buckled up. “You should always wear a seatbelt and encourage your passengers to do the same. Make sure all children who need to be in a car seat have a safe and effective car seat,” recommends car accident attorneys at The Fang Law Firm. It’s important to remember to buckle up little ones correctly, especially if car seats are involved.
Watch for Kids
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, there are five teen pedestrian deaths every week in the United States. Slow down when approaching school zones and follow posted signage about the speed limit. Because younger children are smaller, always thoroughly check before backing in or out of a parking spot.
Leave Ample Space
Leaving ample space between your car and the car in front of you is vital to enabling enough time to react should the car in front of you make a sudden movement. While we can’t always control other drivers actions, we can be aware and prepared.
There’s usually a reason behind a sign. Whether you are entering a construction zone or school zone, pay attention to signage indicating appropriate speeds or potential hazards. The speed limit is enforced to ensure safety for everyone on the road.
Check for Cars Running Red Lights
Before proceeding through your green light, wait and double check the intersection to ensure no cars lagged behind or ran a red light. What may take three additional seconds on your side could mean preventing a fatal car collision.
Check Blind Spots
Almost every car has a blind spot. Do you know yours?
Be vigilant of your blind spot and double (or even triple!) check that area before backing up, making a lane change, or any other type of car maneuver. It is also important to remember that other cars have blind spots, too. Be cautious when driving around larger cars, especially trucks, as they also have “no zones”. If you can’t see a truck’s side mirrors, chances are, the truck driver cannot see you.
Scan Your Surroundings
Scanning refers to checking further down the road as well as observing the areas all around your vehicle using your mirrors. Ideally, a driver should scan ahead 12 to 15 seconds in all environments to be prepared and aware of all activity on the road.
Respect Others on the Road
Behind every car is a person. While a driver may make a mistake or intentionally disrespect the rules of the road, do your best to stay courteous. No one owns the road. Polite manners on your end could prevent a road rage situation.
Take Your Car in for Regular Maintenance
Sometimes car accidents really are accidents when a defective auto part or faulty equipment is to blame. Prevent an unforeseen circumstance on the road by taking your car in for regular scheduled maintenance.
Car accidents are often times not accidents at all and are really due to distracted or reckless drivers. While we can’t always anticipate another’s drivers decisions, we can actively pay attention on the road to enhance road safety for all. Prevent a car collision today and in the future by utilizing these ten tips on the road.