People who travel on the roads have many things they need to consider. They may be asking questions like, ‘What do I need to bring on my Arizona road trip?’ or ‘Where should I get my car serviced?’ One crucial question everyone should be asking is, ‘How can I avoid common road accidents?’
If this is a question that you’ve been asking or want to discover the answers, read on because we have some expert advice to hopefully help you avoid common road accidents.
Obey The Road Rules
Obeying the road rules means following the speed limits, giving way at intersections, using your indicators and driving in the correct lane. Also, be sure to heed all traffic signs and warnings. If you’re not familiar with the road rules in your area, be sure to do some research before setting out.
Sadly, not everyone gets it right, and accidents do happen. If you become involved in an incident that occurred through someone else’s negligence, you can take legal action. According to the attorneys at Buckingham Barrera Vega many people file personal injury lawsuits for car, truck and motorcycle accidents (or because of wrongful death). It’s possible to go online and request a free consultation from experienced and accredited lawyers and to read articles discussing the latest news and insights.
Keep Your Car Well Maintained
This will be less likely to develop a fault and cause an accident. Here are some tips for ensuring your car stays in good shape:
- Have your car regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic. A full service every six months is ideal (more frequently if you have high mileage).
- Get any necessary repairs done as soon as possible to avoid having breakdowns or causing a road accident.
- Ensure your brakes are in good working order by having them checked regularly. Worn-out brakes can be dangerous due to delayed stopping times or brake failure (e.g., driving at high speeds along winding roads).
When you’re driving, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and stay focused on the road. Here are a few tips for avoiding distractions while driving:
- Put away your phone: talking or texting on your phone is one of the biggest distractions drivers face. Resist the urge to check your phone and keep both hands on the wheel.
- Avoid eating or drinking: wait until you’ve reached your destination before having a snack or beverage.
- Keep your passengers under control: make sure they are being respectful and not causing distractions. Remind them to keep their voices down and buckle up.
- Be careful when looking at GPS systems or maps while driving
- Never use your rearview mirror for personal grooming/makeup while you’re on the road
Avoid Drugs And Alcohol
Many drugs have potentially dangerous side effects that can impair your driving skills. This includes alcohol and marijuana, which are widely available in most places worldwide. Drivers who have smoked marijuana within a few hours of getting behind the wheel are more likely to:
- drift out of their lane
- have difficulty staying in control of their car
- take longer to react to emergencies on the road
Alcohol abuse is a major cause of road accidents globally, with young drivers being particularly high risk. If you drink alcohol while operating a vehicle (or before getting behind the wheel), it will make you three times more likely to cause an accident. Being under the influence reduces your concentration levels and reaction times. It also tends to result in bad decision-making when faced with challenging situations (e.g. overtaking slower vehicles near corners).
If you choose to drink or take drugs, make sure you have a designated driver who will stay sober enough to drive. If that’s not possible, take a taxi or public transport instead.
Take Regular Breaks
Make sure you get enough sleep on the night before a long journey. It’s important to take regular breaks (at least 30 minutes each time) as you travel. This will help you stay alert and avoid feeling tired. When you plan your route, decide on the best places to stop.
If possible, avoid driving when you’re tired as it can lead to accidents. If you feel sleepy, pull over and take a nap until you feel refreshed. If you try to push through and reach your destination, you could be a danger to both yourself, your passengers and anyone else on the road.
Check Your Car Before Driving
While you may be good regarding repairs and regular services, it’s still important to check your vehicle before you set off. Here are some tips:
- Make sure the tires are properly inflated and have enough tread. If you need new ones, don’t drive until they can be replaced
- Check your mirrors to make sure they are in the correct position to minimize blind spots while driving
- Ensure that all fluids under the hood are at their proper levels. This includes brake fluid, oil and water for the windshield.
- Don’t set out until everyone has their seatbelt on
Be Mindful Of The Weather
Always check the weather reports before you set out, and if it is treacherous, it’s best not to attempt the journey. Things like fog and rain can significantly reduce your visibility while driving. In these scenarios, reduce your speed to compensate, and where applicable, turn on your fog lights. Road grip can be another issue during bad weather, such as ice and snow. Once again, reduce your speed and keep your distance from the vehicle in front.
If it’s a beautiful day and the weather is hot and sunny, sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun’s glare, particularly when it is low in the sky.
Bonus Tip: What To Do If You’re In An Accident?
If you’re involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is stay calm and assess the situation. If you or anyone else is injured, call emergency services immediately. If the accident is minor and there are no injuries, exchange insurance information with the other driver and file a police report. Next, take pictures of the damages to both vehicles and the accident scene. Once you have all the information you need, contact your insurance company to start the claims process. If there are any problems during the claim process or someone is claiming against you, contact a car crash lawyer for assistance. Being involved in an accident is never a pleasant experience, but following these steps can help make it as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Hopefully, you now understand some of the key reasons why people have road accidents and have some strategies to avoid them. Never give in to road rage, and take some refresher lessons with a driving school if it will help. In return, you can use your car as a vital tool for living a happy, safe and full life.