We are an increasingly mobile world with more cars hitting the road each day. Injuries and fatalities from car accidents are an ongoing problem worldwide. Evidence shows that most car accidents are caused by human error, fatigue, and distractions. We can all take steps to help our roads be safer. Here are some tips to and guidelines to help you adopt safe driving practices.
Follow all Traffic Rules and Regulations
Traffic rules such as speed limits, traffic signals and road signs are designed to maintain safe driving conditions and smooth traffic conditions for every car on the road. It may be tempting to surpass the posted speed limit when you’re running late, but speeding is a top cause of traffic accidents. Using your turn signal appropriately and stopping at stop signs and signals can help you avoid collisions. Traffic rules can vary from location to location, so pay close attention to road signs. When you drive responsibly, you help create a safer environment for yourself and those around you.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the top causes of injury causing car accidents. With the wide-spread use of smart phones, this problem has grown in recent years. Answering a text or checking social media is never worth the risk of injury or death from an otherwise avoidable accident. Keep your phone out of reach and your attention on the road. Consider installing an app that silences your phone when you are behind the wheel, eliminating any temptation.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Some car accidents can be avoided simply by maintaining your vehicle properly. An improperly inflated tire, or brakes that malfunction can cause a sudden and dangerous accident. Properly functioning vehicle lights and signals will let others know when you are stopping and turning, and headlights increase your visibility to help you avoid obstacles and other vehicles. Take your car in for regular service and checks of these important systems.
Never Drive Under Influence
Unfortunately, many Americans suffer catastrophic injuries and loss of life each year due to someone making the choice to get behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s reaction time, motor skills and decision-making skills making driving a car very dangerous. While the dangers of drunk driving are widely known, many people still take part in this deadly behavior.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is a strategy focused on being aware of your surroundings, anticipating potential hazards and being prepared to react to avoid incident. Defensive drivers expect the unexpected, avoid aggressive driving behaviors, and anticipate the actions of other drivers. This mindset can help reduce your chances of being involved in a collision.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
Hazardous road conditions are another common cause of car accidents. Wet, icy roads can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Smoke and fog can impair visibility, making it difficult for you to avoid obstacles. Be aware of changing weather conditions and anticipate difficult road conditions. Consider delaying driving when the weather presents a dangerous situation.
Stay Safe on the Road
When you get behind the wheel, you are responsible not only for yourself and your passengers, but also to those around you. All drivers need to implement preventive measures to increase safety and avoid accidents. Car accidents can lead to devastating injuries and even death. Some common injuries suffered in collisions include whiplash, broken bones, lacerations and traumatic brain injuries. Obeying traffic laws, avoiding distractions, avoiding driving under the influence, maintaining your vehicle and practicing defensive driving are steps we can all take to make our roads safer, and reduce injuries and deaths from car accidents.