Six million car accidents happen in the United States every year and about 6% result in a fatality. The majority of these crashes can be prevented if drivers adjust their behavior on the road. Whether you are a seasoned driver or a newbie, these tips can help you decrease the chances of a car accident and keep your loved ones safe.
1. Follow the Speed Limit
Hundreds of people are involved in setting speed limits. Scientists, politicians, and traffic engineers determine the limits by analyzing statistics, weather conditions, road parameters, speed studies, and numerous other factors.
When you look at a speed limit sign, you see an immense effort to keep you safe. By following the speed limit, you are decreasing your chances of getting into a car accident according to science, statistics, and common sense.
2. Ignore Your Smartphone to Decrease Your Chances of Being in a Car Accident
Distractions are one of the common causes of road accidents. Drivers tend to ignore the rules and use their smartphones while behind the wheel. According to numerous studies, typing and reading messages while driving affects eye movements, reaction time, and stimulus detection.
Even a few letters typed behind the wheel could lead to a serious accident with fatalities. Consider investing in a hand-free Bluetooth device and keeping the smartphone out of reach while in the car.
FYI: The fine for texting while driving in Florida is $30 – $60 and court fees
3. Take Care of Your Vehicle
Poor car maintenance is another common accident cause. If the bad condition of your vehicle becomes the underlying reason for a crash, you are responsible for causing damage and injuries to others.
Examples of poor maintenance that can result in an accident are:
- Windshield damage — Cracks in the windshield can obstruct your view.
- Worn out wipers — Old wipers can’t clean the windshield properly, thus interfering with your view.
- Broken lights — If you can’t tell other drivers when you are turning or stopping, it’s easy to cause an accident.
- Old tires — Old and worn tires don’t provide sufficient road grip. They are also prone to ruptures.
Not paying attention to warning lights on your dashboard or ignoring factory recalls could make you responsible for a crash.
4. Be the Calm Driver
Aggressive driving creates dangerous situations on the road, leading to crashes and serious injuries. When an erratic driver is on the road, others tend to be offended by their behavior and react inadequately. This, in turn, maximizes the chances of an accident.
If you notice someone driving aggressively, play the role of a calm driver. Slow down and keep your distance. By keeping your calm and acting reasonably, you can prevent serious consequences.
5. Keep Your Distance
Failing to maintain a safe distance keeps you from reacting when the car in front of you suddenly comes to a stop. Experienced drivers suggest following a 2-second rule. No matter at what speed you are traveling, you should always be behind the other vehicle by two seconds.
The car’s stopping time can depend on many factors, including the driver’s age, brake condition, weather, and much more. That’s why it’s imperative to put as much distance as possible between your car and other vehicles without interfering with road traffic.
6. Limit Driving at Night
Even though roads aren’t as congested during the night, a big share of fatal accidents occurs when the sun is down. There are several reasons why night driving should be reduced:
- With age, night vision becomes worse, making it harder to react to dangerous situations on the road.
- People who drive at night are often fatigued. When a driver is tired, the reaction time goes down.
- Road construction is often done during the night. Coupled with reduced vision and fatigue, it can contribute to a collision.
The most dangerous driving times are at dusk and dawn when the contrast between the light sky and dark road is the highest. Meanwhile, glare from the setting or rising sun can compromise the driver’s vision.
7. Avoid Assumptions
Never make assumptions about another driver’s behavior. You can’t expect everyone on the road to behave according to your plan. Even if you think that the driver in front of you is going to take the next exit because the blinker is on, don’t shorten the distance. You could be wrong. They may have activated it by accident.
If the light is red, don’t assume that other drivers won’t run it. Always be on the lookout. Other drivers make mistakes. They could be drunk or fatigued. Make sure you are fully aware of the situation on the road.
8. Read up on Driving in Bad Weather
When the weather changes so should your driving. Rain can reduce traction, fog can obscure vision, and strong winds can increase the chances of an accident. When the weather is bad:
- Drive slower than you would in regular conditions.
- Leave extra room between your car and other vehicles.
- Take full advantage of fog lights, wipers, and demisters whenever necessary.
- Listen to the radio and use navigation apps to avoid traffic.
- Always brake gently and slowly.
When the weather is bad, consider revising your plans and staying off the road.
9. Keep Both Hands on the Wheel
Experienced drivers often get too confident about their skills and keep only one hand on the wheel. Such practice reduces your chances of reacting properly when a dangerous situation occurs.
FYI: Optimal vehicle control is possible when your left and right hands are at 9 and 3 o’clock positions respectively.
Find More Tips to Decrease Your Chances of Being in a Car Accident
Following these simple tips, keeping your head straight, and avoiding dangerous situations can help you decrease the chance of car accidents and their serious consequences.
Unfortunately, not all drivers are ready to follow simple rules. So no matter how hard you try, some crashes are unavoidable. In case a car accident occurs, the Opa Locka collision repair shop is here to restore your vehicle. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (305) 908-5548 or schedule an appointment.
Tags: Car Accident, driving, Safe driving, Tips