Every year, 1.35 million people die from car accidents, and another 20 to 50 million suffer non-fatal injuries. Whether you only drive once in a while or commute every day, there’s a chance you might add to these statistics.
While that might terrifying for some, you should be reassured by the fact that there are things you can do to drastically reduce your chances of getting into an accident. The key thing is to drive defensively!
Interested in hearing more? Then here are some tips you should know on how to avoid car accidents.
Eliminate Distractions or Keep Them to a Minimum
The fact is, you’re operating heavy machinery every time you’re on the road. No matter how many years you’ve been behind the wheel, the simple truth is all it takes is one second of a distraction for you to get into a car accident.
One of the main causes of car accidents is distracted driving. So when you drive, you want to make sure all your attention is on the task at hand.
Don’t try to eat, put on makeup, call your friend, or do anything else while driving. If it’s really important, then pull over to the side to do what’s necessary, then only get back on the road when you can fully dedicate your attention to driving.
Don’t Assume Others Are Driving Safely
Just because you’re paying attention to the road doesn’t mean others are.
They might be fiddling around with the radio or texting a friend when they decide to run a red light. If you had assumed that they’d stopped, you might’ve driven into the intersection as soon as the light turned green, which might result in a fatal T-bone accident.
Always be cautious and double-check things like corners and intersections. Even if your light is green, take your foot off the accelerator, hover it on the brake, and look left and right to make sure no car is speeding toward you. Only proceed if it’s 100% safe to.
Keep Your Distance From Cars in Front of You
You should always give the cars in front of you plenty of room, no matter how fast you’re going. Even if you’re in slow traffic (such as on the freeway during traffic hour), all it takes is for the person in front of you to slam on their brakes, and you’ll run into them!
A good rule of thumb for when you’re at a standstill is to leave enough space so you can see the front car’s rear tires completely.
And if you’re in motion, look at a landmark. Once the car in front passes it, start counting.
It should take you at least 3 seconds to reach the landmark. If you reach it before 3 seconds, then you’re following too closely. Adjust your driving speed so you’re further away.
The above actions allow you to have enough time to react to anything that happens suddenly. Even if you have to slam on your brakes, you should be able to avoid crashing into the car in front of you.
Add Extra Distance Between You and Erratic Drivers
Unfortunately, some people will drive while under the influence. If you notice a car near you that’s riding the lines, swerving, or exhibiting any other unusual behavior, put some extra distance between yourself and them.
Erratic driving is unpredictable driving. So if these drivers make a sudden crazy move, you want to be well out of harm’s way.
This advice also goes for aggressive drivers. If someone is having road rage, don’t get involved. Let them drive away from you and never follow.
Practice Good Parking
Car accidents happen often with parked cars too. The fate of your vehicle might be out of your hands once you get out of the driver’s seat, but there are steps you can take to decrease the chances of it being damaged.
First of all, don’t park in a busy area (either in a lot or street). Parking further away not only makes your car safer, but you’ll enjoy a nice walk too!
Make sure that if you have plenty of space around the front, back, and sides of your vehicle. Repark if you’re too close to a line.
What to Do if You’re in a Car Accident
Despite taking all the proper precautions, it’s still possible to get in a car accident. After all, just because you’re driving carefully doesn’t necessarily mean others are. The only surefire way to avoid accidents is to stop driving, which simply isn’t feasible.
If you were in a car accident, you should get as much information as you can from the other party, including their:
- Full name
- Driver’s license
- Make and model of their vehicle
- License plate
- Contact information
If possible, you should also speak to eyewitnesses and get their contact information too. This can help if you want to build a case.
On that note, it might be a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer, no matter if you’re the victim or the person who caused the accident. They can help you navigate the legal proceedings easier and get you fair compensation if you have a case.
Know How to Avoid Car Accidents
By reading this article, you now have some great tips on how to avoid car accidents. The most important thing is to remember to drive defensively and to give aggressive drivers a wide berth.
When it comes to the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road, it’s always best to be safe than to be sorry. And if you’re unlucky enough to get into a car accident still, you should now know exactly what to do so you minimize financial damages and pain.
For more articles like this one on car accident prevention, please browse the rest of our blog section now.