We all know that car accidents happen, but often, we never think that we’ll be involved in a crash. You see news headlines and hear radio reports about collisions all the time, but most of us feel like we’re immune when we’re behind the wheel. The sad reality is that in the US alone, more than 32,000 people lose their lives as a result of car and truck accidents every year. It’s not always possible to prevent accidents, but being a careful driver can dramatically lower your chances of being involved in a crash. Here are some road safety tips to bear in mind next time you hit the highway.
Focusing on the road
Today, we’re all about multi-tasking, and we tend to live our lives at a hundred miles per hour. When you’re driving, you may feel it necessary to conduct business calls or catch up with friends via text messages, but think about the potential impact of taking your eyes off the road, even for a split second. Hazards can appear out of nowhere, and if you’ve got your phone in your hands or you’re messing around with the radio, you may not be able to react immediately. Distracted driving is a major problem, especially among younger drivers. When you’ve got the wheel in your hand, focus on the road ahead and the vehicles around you. You should always be prepared to brake or change direction suddenly.
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Many of us enjoy a drink, especially on the weekends. There’s nothing wrong with letting your hair down or treating yourself to a beer on a Friday night, but don’t combine drinking and driving. Even if you feel like you’re fine, the likelihood is that you’re not safe to drive. Drink driving carries severe punishments, and if you cause an accident, you will be held liable for injuries sustained by others. In contrast, if you were hit by a driver who was drunk, you would have the right to make a claim. In this case, it’s wise to seek advice from a law firm like Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. Drinking alcohol is proven to increase reaction times, encourage drivers to take risks and affect concentration. If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Arrange a lift or use public transport. If you suspect that somebody else on the road has been drinking, contact the local police.
Watching your speed
Speeding increases the risk of losing control of a car, and it also elevates the chances of anyone involved in the crash sustaining severe injuries. Watch your speed, and make sure you don’t exceed the limit. If it’s wet, icy or foggy outside, lower your speed, and keep well back from the vehicle in front of you.
Road rage can cause aggressive driving, which may result in accidents that have devastating consequences. If you’re stuck in traffic, or another driver is irritating you by driving too slowly, for example, take a deep breath, focus on what you’re doing, and stay calm.
More than 2 million people in the US are injured in road accidents every year. To reduce your risk of becoming a statistic, pay attention to these simple pointers.