If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how much of a hassle it can be. At the least, you have to deal with damage to your car and a police report – in severe circumstances you may have some serious injuries. According to Schwartzapfel Lawyers in NYC “Injuries from motor vehicle accidents can require doctors’ visits, hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation therapy, lost income, lost pension benefits, physical pain, mental suffering, and the very real prospect of permanent disabilities”. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be better if you could avoid the accident altogether?
While it’s not possible to avoid car accidents completely (unless you never drive), there are still a few things you can do to make them less likely. The next time you go out on the road, keep the following tips in mind.
Check Your Car Before You Drive
First, you’ll want to examine your car before you drive. You don’t have to give it a complete inspection – you’re just checking to make sure there isn’t anything obviously wrong. How do the wipers look? Are there any strange puddles underneath the car? Do you notice any funny odors? Are the mirrors all positioned properly, and do the tires have enough air and tread? A brief visual inspection only takes a minute or two, but it can help to prevent an accident because something went wrong with your car. If you do notice any issues with your car, be sure to get them taken car of as soon as you can.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Next, once you’re on the road, it’s important to obey all of the rules. When we first start driving we are very attentive to these rules, but we tend to relax on some of them as we gain more experience driving. Maybe you follow a car on the highway a little closer than you should, or you don’t come to a complete stop at every stop sign.
These rules are in place for a reason, so your best bet is to follow them. Obey the speed limit, heed all of the signs on the road, and be considerate of the other drivers. You can’t control if other people are going to follow all of the rules, but you can at least control your own actions. It may feel tedious, or get you to your location a few minutes later, but if it keeps you out of an accident, it’s worth it.
Another thing you need to do while you’re driving is remove any distractions. We all have smartphones these days, and it can be tempting to text on them while you drive, or to play your music through them. It’s very easy to become distracted while driving, but it’s important that you keep your focus on the road.
Put your phone into car mode before you drive. Don’t fiddle around with your music stations too much. Tell your kids to stop arguing in the back seat. Anything that might distract you needs to be limited, otherwise you might miss something important on the road. Accidents only take a second of inattention, so keep your focus where it belongs.
Don’t Drive Impaired
Up next is knowing when you’re physically unable to drive. It’s important that you never get behind the wheel if you are in any way impaired. This doesn’t only mean that you’ve had a few drinks. For instance, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you’re too tired, if you forgot your glasses and can’t see, or if you’re on any sort of medication that would impact your level of awareness. Driving impaired is one of the most dangerous things you can do, not only to yourself and your passengers, but to everyone else on the road, so be sure you are 100 percent capable of driving before you get behind the wheel.
Avoid Bad Weather
Finally, you can’t control the weather, but you can control if you drive in it. Bad weather is the cause of thousands of accidents each year, so avoid it if you can. Check the weather before you head out and see what the forecast says for now and your return trip. If there’s a big thunderstorm or snow storm on the way, consider going out another time. If you absolutely must go out, follow these tips for driving in bad weather.
Doing Everything You Can to Avoid Accidents
Not everything on the road is in your control, meaning an accident is always possible. But if you can improve your own habits, you can at least make an accident less likely. Use the tips above in your own life, and hopefully you won’t have to experience any type of car accident for a long time to come.