Avoid an Auto Accident: 10 Tips from Hornberger Brewer’s Accident AttorneysNovember 10, 2010
It may come as a surprise, but the vast majority of auto accidents—up to 90 percent—are completely avoidable. Of course, you can’t control the other drivers on the road, but you can take measures to increase your safe driving habits. These ten tips can help you be more careful behind the wheel and can improve your safety and the safety of those around you.
1. Don’t Be a Distracted Driver
Laws against text messaging and talking on your cell phone aren’t meant to cut you off from your social network—they’re meant to protect you from an auto accident. Even simple actions like changing the song on your iPod or checking your phone for missed calls force you to take your eyes off the road, if only for a second. If you think you’re better at multitasking than most drivers, think again: Roughly 80 percent of auto accidents are caused by distracted drivers.
2. Keep Your Hands on the Wheel
In the same vein as avoiding driving distractions, don’t take your hands off the wheel to change your music or play with your phone—and please don’t drive with your knees. Keeping your hands on the wheel in the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions gives you the greatest control over your car and enables you to maneuver it quickly if you get into trouble.
3. Avoid the Number One Lane
The far left lane is called the “fast lane” for a reason and most accidents occur there than in the right or center lanes. The fast lane offers fewer escape options if danger looms near your vehicle.
4. Look Ahead
Try not to fixate on the car directly in front of you. Instead, look several car lengths ahead to see how traffic is moving and to avoid unexpected hazards like accidents or cars stalled in the road. This will also reduce your chances of rear-ending the car in front of you should that car suddenly stop.
5. Watch Your Blind Spots
You don’t have to drive a big rig to pay attention to your blind spots. Changing lanes is a risky time for you and those around you, so always check your blind spots and physically turn your head to look for cars next to you. Also be aware when you might be in another vehicle’s blind spot, particularly if you’re next to a truck or a bus, and try to minimize the time you spend there.
6. Check for Dents and Drifting
We’ve all seen it on the road: a car that has bumper-to-bumper body damage. Vehicle damage may indicate an inattentive driver you want to avoid. You may also want to avoid a driver who is drifting in the lane or across lane lines. That driver may be tired, drunk, or distracted, and less likely to pay attention to driving!
7. Know Your Car
Different types of cars react differently depending on the situation. You should be familiar with your car’s abilities, such as how it takes corners and how it reacts to brake pressure. It’s also important to know how much space you need to make an emergency stop. This can help you decide whether to brake or accelerate to avoid road hazards.
8. Keep Your Car Healthy
You wouldn’t skip your annual physical, so don’t skip your car’s routine maintenance! Your car will perform at its best if it receives regular oil changes and recommended service. A well-maintained car will also help you avoid dangerous mechanical failures while you’re driving.
9. Approach Intersections With Caution
You never know if a sports car is going to run the red light or if an elderly lady is going to cross the roadway in time. Slow down and keep watch if you’re approaching an intersection, especially if the light has just turned green. If you’re stopped at a light that turns green, look both ways before slowly proceeding through the intersection.
10. Minimize Night Driving
At night, visibility is lower and the probability of drunk or exhausted drivers is higher—a potentially disastrous combination. If you must drive at night, be extra vigilant to avoid possible problems and be especially careful if you’re on the road when the bars close.
Though these tips will help minimize the chance of a collision, even the most cautious drivers may find themselves unable to avoid an auto accident. An auto accident can be an upsetting experience, especially if you sustained injuries. You may be in pain from your injuries and you may feel nervous or confused about what happened and what your next steps should be. Trust the auto accident attorneys at Hornberger & Brewer to help you through this delicate time. Our professional staff will guide you through the aftermath of your auto accident. We’ll work hard to earn the compensation you’re entitled to receive.
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