If asked, most people could tell you the dos-and-don’ts of safe driving. However, it’s pretty easy to get so used to being on the road that you simply forget to follow those rules. You’re in a hurry to get where you’re going or you’re distracted by your passengers, and it’s easy to let a few things slide.
The truth is with all the new technology and safety features cars are becoming safer themselves, but that doesn’t mean drivers are doing the same. Even the safest drivers run into accidents. That’s why it’s important to have an auto accident injury attorney bay area on your side.
1. Keep Your Vehicle in Safe Working Condition
Before you even hit the road, it’s important to make sure your car is safe to drive. The most common reason for an avoidable accident is bad tire maintenance. You should check your tires every time you hit the road, especially if you’re planning a long drive. Routine inspections will ensure your car is at its safest.
2. Buckle Up
Another important safety step you’ll want to follow before turning the key is to put on your seat belt. Wearing your seat belt can prevent you from hitting your head on the windshield during a crash, or being thrown out of the vehicle. Nearly half of all traffic fatalities are caused by people not taking this simple safety measure.
3. Watch Out for Other Drivers
You could be the safest driver on the road and still get into an accident caused by another driver. One way to avoid this is to always be mindful of other cars and never assume they’ll do what they should. Be prepared for the unexpected and you won’t be caught off guard.
4. Follow the Speed Limit
This is a no-brainer, but all too often you get in a hurry and push the limits when it comes to speeding. However, it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do. Driving too fast is one of the largest contributors to accidents and the faster you’re going the more dangerous it becomes.
5. Don’t Drive Drowsy
When you’re tired, your reaction times slow down and driving becomes more dangerous. Far too many people think they’re okay to get behind the wheel, but sleepiness and falling asleep at the wheel account for over 20% of all accidents.
6. Don’t Drink and Drive
An easy way to be a safer driver is to never get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. Even one drink can impair your judgment and slow your reaction times, making your trip an accident waiting to happen. As a rule, always have a designated driver or an Uber available if you’ve been drinking.
7. Don’t Drive While Distracted
While you’re behind the wheel you should limit your activities to just that, driving. Activities such as eating, applying makeup, and talking on the phone can be so distracting that you can’t pay attention to the road or other drivers. Texting and driving is so dangerous that it causes thousands of accidents every year.
8. Keep Your Distance
If you want to avoid an accident, never ride too closely to another vehicle. When you don’t leave enough distance between you and another car, you don’t give yourself enough time to react if they slow down or make a sudden stop.
9. Avoid Road Rage
Getting angry at other drivers is not only a waste of energy, but it’s also very dangerous. It’s impossible to concentrate on the road if you’re being confrontational or flipping off the car beside you. If someone does something you don’t like, just let them go on their way and stick to the task of driving safely.
10. Adjust Your Driving for Weather Conditions
It goes without saying, but here’s a reminder to be extra cautious in rainy, snowy, foggy, or icy conditions. In fact, strong winds can also blow cars around on the road or send debris into your path of travel. If you think the weather is too bad for travel, then stay home until it’s safe.