Preventing Car Accidents
The rates of car accidents in our country has been steadily rising. What can we do to prevent them? Besides your basics, such as “buckle up” and “don’t drink and drive,” take the following into consideration while on the road. It could save you or your family’s life.
- Be Alert – Don’t’ simply focus on the care in front of you. You should watch traffic all around you, which will increase your chance of being able to react in time to any problems that may arise. You should also be aware of your blind spots. Turn to look directly into lanes beside you before changing lanes, as it is easy to miss something undetected by your mirrors. You should also be mindful of blind spots for other drivers around you. Try not to hang out in another car’s blind spot. Lastly, pay attention to other drivers on the road – the “little things,” if you will. A car’s condition can easily reflect the type of driver inside the car. A car with damage, or one covered in filth, could reflect an inattentive driver. Additionally, a car drifting lanes could indicate a driver who is tired, drunk, or texting. Stay away from this vehicle!
- Avoid Speeding – Speeding drastically increases your chances of being in an accident. You should avoid the left lane, which is typically used by those speeding. However, using the center or right lane provides you with more “escape routes” should something arise, including the ability to pull over onto the shoulder. Most highway accidents occur in the left lane.
- Maintain Control Of The Wheel – It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true. Too often, people lazily grip the steering wheel. Remember in driver’s education when you learned about holding the wheel at the 9 and 3 o’clock position? Well, it still rings true today. Holding the wheel in this position grants you maximum vehicle control if you are forced into quick maneuvering to avoid a potential accident. Additionally, you should move your seat close enough to the steering wheel so that your wrist can rest on the top of the wheel with your arm outstretched and your back against the seat. You should also know your car’s performance limits. How does your vehicle react in certain situations? How long does it take to stop when you apply maximum pressure? How much grip do your tires have?
- Avoid Driving At Night – Although it may be convenient, driving at night brings about certain hazards that typically don’t occur during the day. You are likely more fatigued, and have a reduced field of vision. Additionally, there are other drivers who themselves are tired, or perhaps drunk. You should be extremely cautious when driving at night, and drive extra defensively, especially when driving after midnight. This is the time when people typically leave the bars, potentially increasing the number of drunk drivers on the road. Lastly, be sure your car’s headlights are operating properly.