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7 Tips for Staying Safe on the Road

7 Tips for Staying Safe on the RoadDriving is inherently risky. After all, you’re driving a 3000+ motor vehicle at speeds up to 70 mph. Sadly, 7.3 million car accidents occur on roads across the U.S. every year, resulting in injuries and fatalities. Because of this risk, all drivers must take precautions to prevent serious and fatal accidents.

From driving the speed limit to avoiding distractions while you drive, we can all do our part to prevent deadly car accidents on the road. Here are seven ways to increase your chances of avoiding a car accident.

Tip 1: Drive Defensively

Driving defensively means being aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards. Is that car trying to merge? Am I driving in that truck driver’s blind spot? Driving defensively is the key to making split-second decisions to avoid accidents.

Maintaining a safe following distance is crucial when driving defensively. Leave a three-second gap between your vehicle and the one in front. Increase the gap in adverse weather conditions or when driving at high speeds.

Tip 2: Perform Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Regular check-ups ensure that your car’s essential parts—brakes, tires, lights, and more—are in tip-top shape. A well-maintained vehicle doesn’t just prevent breakdowns; it can prevent serious and catastrophic accidents.

Proper tire maintenance is a critical component of road safety. Ensure your tires have sufficient tread depth and inflate them to the recommended pressure. Bald or underinflated tires can lead to accidents.

In addition, regularly inspect your brakes and lights. Faulty brakes can lead to accidents, while malfunctioning lights reduce visibility, especially at night.

Tip 3: Avoid Distractions

It is important to focus on driving at all times. Distractions can divert your attention away from driving safely. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can result in a catastrophic and fatal car accident. Here are some common distractions to steer clear of:

  • Texting or using a cell phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Adjusting the radio or infotainment system
  • Conversations with passengers
  • Grooming or applying makeup
  • Daydreaming or getting lost in thought

By recognizing these distractions and actively avoiding them, you significantly reduce the risk of accidents and help make the road safer for everyone.

Tip 4: Plan for Adverse Weather Conditions

Weather can be unpredictable and challenging, from heavy rain and snow to thick fog and icy roads. Taking precautions and being prepared can make all the difference. Check the weather forecasts before your journey and adjust your travel plans if necessary.  Equip your vehicle with appropriate tires, like snow tires in winter, and use headlights and windshield wipers in rain or fog.

When driving in the rain, reduce your speed, increase the following distance, and use your headlight. When driving in snow and ice, be gentle with your accelerator and brakes and avoid sudden maneuvers. In all adverse weather, increase the distance behind you and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you time to react in case of an emergency.

Tip 5: Drive the Speed Limit

When you exceed these limits, you’re not just breaking the law but increasing the risk of accidents significantly. Speeding reduces your reaction time. In other words, the faster you drive, the less time you have to respond to unexpected situations.

In addition, excessive speed magnifies the severity of accidents. When a collision occurs at high speeds, the forces involved are much greater, leading to more extensive damage and, often, more severe injuries. Vehicles are designed to withstand certain impacts, but those safety measures become less effective when you push the limits by speeding.

Tip 6: Buckle Up

Wear your seat belt every time you get into a vehicle, no matter how short the trip may be. It is the law. Seat belts are engineered to keep you securely in place during a collision, preventing you from being thrown around inside the car or even ejected. Also, ensure that all passengers, whether in the front or back seats, wear seat belts.

Always use appropriate car seats and booster seats for young children. These seats are designed to provide the necessary protection based on a child’s age, weight, and height. Properly installed car seats keep infants and toddlers secure and reduce the risk of serious injury in a crash. As children grow, transitioning to booster seats ensures that seat belts fit them correctly, providing optimal protection.

Tip 7: Avoiding Driving Under the Influence

In the United States alone, alcohol-impaired driving contributed to over 13,000 fatalities in one recent year. This represented nearly 30% of all traffic-related deaths.

Before heading out for a night of celebration or socializing, take a moment to plan ahead. Designate someone within your group who will stay sober or make a plan to call an Uber.

Contact Our San Bernardino Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a car accident, call a San Bernardino car accident attorney today at William D. Shapiro Law, Inc. We know you need money quickly to pay medical bills and lost wages. We can help you do that by negotiating with the insurance company and fighting for what you deserve.

Our lawyers want to meet with you for a free initial consultation and review. We can answer your questions and give you legal guidance during this meeting. Call (909) 890-1000 or complete our confidential contact form today.

​​This article is intended to be a general overview, not a complete statement of the law applicable to all situations. As the facts of each case are different, we urge all to consult an attorney without delay to fully understand what law applies in your case.”

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