They call them accidents for a reason: not all of them can be avoided no matter what you do. However, many collisions can be prevented by employing a few extra awareness and planning steps into your driving routine.
From driving well rested to avoiding distractions, check out these seven tips to avoid a car collision.
1. Drive Distraction Free
Life is busy. Your attention is pulled in a million different directions. But when you’re behind the wheel, you should focus that attention on the road ahead of you. Keep your phone in your purse, on the backseat or in the glove compartment to avoid the temptation of texting and driving.
Don’t fiddle with the radio. Use hands-free systems to make and receive phone calls. Pull over if your child needs attention in the backseat rather than reaching behind you to pass them a snack.
2. Maintain Your Vehicle
Regular maintenance, such as tire checks and oil changes, are critical in ensuring your car is operating at optimal capacity. Improperly inflated tires can lead to blowouts, little to no oil can lead to overheating, and unaddressed cracks in a windshield can pose an extra safety risk. Before hitting the road, check your car’s vital signs. Inspect tires and fluid levels regularly. Test brakes regularly as well.
3. Beware of Blind Spots
As needed, adjust your mirrors so you can see all areas around your vehicle. You shouldn’t rely solely on your mirrors when maneuvering, as blind spots can hide an object or even another car. Semi-trucks have very big blind spots, so it’s a safe bet that unless you can see their mirrors, they can’t see you. Also, don’t rely solely on your backup camera. Always turn and look where you are going to make sure.
4. Be Extra Cautious at Night
Driving is hard enough during the day in good conditions. Add in darkness, and the risk for collisions goes up. Beware driving at dusk, as the setting sun can cause solar glare and make it harder to spot vehicles and pedestrians in time. Driving at night can be risky, too, because of the higher likelihood of more drunk drivers on the road.
5. Drive Defensively
Always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t assume that just because you have a green light that you can barrel through. Proceed with caution, and still look both ways as you approach. You never know when a distracted driver will run a light, or a small child will come out of nowhere. Take a proactive approach to driving, not a reactive one.
On a similar note, never depend on another driver waiving you on to proceed, when in fact there is danger ahead. This happens more than you think. Kindness in this situation can be deadly.
6. Don’t Drive Drowsy
Another top cause of collisions is driving while drowsy. This one is nearly as bad as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you haven’t had enough sleep or feel fatigued in any way, don’t get behind the wheel. If you are driving on a long road trip, don’t wait till you feel yourself nodding off. Get off the road and get some rest.
7. Be Calm
Road rage is a very real thing, and it has led to countless collisions on the nation’s roadways. Practice mindfulness when behind the wheel, or avoid driving when you are angry, emotional or upset. Those who drive angry typically drive more aggressively, which can lead to unnecessary collisions.
Heeding the above tips will reduce the chances you are in a life altering collision. In the event you do get into a collision, seek medical help, call the police and insurance company, and reach out for help from a skilled car accident attorney in Southwest Virginia if needed.
Contact Altizer Law
Get a free, no-obligation consultation when you contact us at 540-345-2000. Our Southwest Virginia car accident law firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.