Steps to Prevent a Car Crash
In life, there are many ways to prevent unfortunate things from happening to you: you can wash your hands frequently to keep away germs, work hard to avoid getting penalized at your job, and make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other medical emergencies. But can you take steps to prevent a car accident?
It might seem like it’s impossible to avoid someday being in a car accident. After all, even if you’re a perfectly responsible driver, you can still be impacted by the reckless or negligent decisions of other drivers. While it’s true that you can’t always avoid the bad decisions of others on the road, there are still some steps you can take to decrease your chances of being in a serious car crash.
With proper vehicle maintenance, you can practice safe driving and avoid being in a car accident without even getting in your car! By keeping your car well-maintained, you can avoid accidents that arise from issues like worn tires, vehicle defects, or engine issues. Some areas to pay attention to include:
- Oil levels
- Car battery
- Windshield wipers
- All lights, including taillights, hazards, and turn signals
If you notice an issue with any part of your car, it’s important to take it in to your dealership or a local repair shop to get it fixed as soon as possible.
You should also make sure that your vehicle is properly adjusted to safely meet your needs. For example, make sure you can see out of your side and rear view mirrors. If you share a car with someone else who frequently readjusts the seats or mirrors, always make sure you have it set back to meet your needs and preferences before heading out.
Avoiding Distractions While Driving
To prevent a car crash, you should always make safe choices behind the wheel. While you probably avoid obviously dangerous behavior, like sending a long text message while driving, there are many smaller, everyday actions that can still be dangerous on the roads. These include:
- Glancing down at a phone to look at directions
- Having children in the backseat
- Having more than one passenger in the car
- Loud music
- Changing the radio, temperature, or other dials
- Lighting or putting out a cigarette
While these actions may not be as bad as fully looking away from the wheel, they still take your attention away from the road. Remember, a car can travel the length of a football field in just five seconds! Anything that pulls your attention away from the road can be a danger, so keep your eyes on the road to avoid being in a car accident. By being alert, you can more easily avoid dangerous drivers.
Staying Awake Behind the Wheel
Like distracted driving, driver fatigue is another common cause of serious car crashes. In fact, fatigued driving causes 13% of all vehicle accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. When you are tired, you may not react quickly enough to obstacles in the road, like a driver swerving into your lane or a squirrel darting across the road. Getting enough sleep is one obvious way to combat driver fatigue, but you can also:
- Pay attention to any medications that might cause drowsiness
- Maintain a healthy diet for good energy
- Alternate drivers if you are driving for long periods of time
- Pull over if you feel too tired to drive
Checking your tires, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding distractions might seem like obvious steps, but they are still easy to overlook! Even the smallest step toward safety can make a huge difference.
If you do find yourself involved in a car crash, especially if you were not at-fault, it’s important to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can help see you through your case.