Cars are undoubtedly one of the most astounding inventions ever made by humans. They give easy transport and freedom and taking a person anywhere for hundreds and even thousands of miles with just a tank of gasoline.
However, cars are also machines of destructions filled with flammable liquid and large metal projectiles that can harm anyone if the person maneuvering behind the wheel is not cautious and responsible. It could easily transport one’s life to eternal trauma and even death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2.44 million people get injured in the US due to vehicle crashes in 2015. The figures are mind-boggling and yes, alarming. Different insurance companies give different numerical perspective, concluding that one driver is average to one car accident per decade.
There are simple precautions that you can follow to reduce your risks. The paramount keys are to steer clear of alcohol and drugs, avoid distractions, be predictable and obey the traffic laws, always. Do them, and you’ll make the road safer and less dangerous for everyone.
Follow Speed Limits
Speed limits exist because you have to abide them. Exceeding speed limits means that you chose to drive faster than what is intended to be safe for the road, irresponsibly putting others at risk and at the same time consuming more fuel.
The science behind this law is that when you drive faster, the reaction time for you to stop reduces, thus higher maneuvering skills are obligatory to avoid an accident. As the speed of the vehicle ascends, the forces and braking distances increase too which can lead to disastrous rollovers and collisions.
Another explanation why over speeding is hazardous is that when you over speed, you’re out-driving your car’s headlights, thus you lose the time to react properly to unexpected scenarios when they appear in your field of vision.
Better be safe than sorry, so follow speed limits and be extra attentive in the dark.
Avoid Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Drunk driving as always is a very dangerous stunt that every driver needs to avoid, and yet there are still people who are just too hard-headed to follow the rule. They get behind the wheel while their bloodstreams are boiling with alcohol.
According to NHTSA, every two minutes, one person gets injured due to a drunken driving crash, and the casualty cost is up to $132 billion dollars a year. Now, if you’re out to have fun, be sure to designate a driver for you or better yet, do not drive when you drink.
Steer Clear from Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is an act of doing another activity that corrupts your attention away from driving. Acts like trying to send a message or answer a call, looking at sceneries instead of the road and watching other vehicles are the common forms of distracted driving.
The fatalities due to road accidents in the US rose to 35,092 last year, the highest growth in 50 years, and 10 percent of this data is due to distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There is a slogan that says “hung up and drive” reminding us to avoid texting or doing things that may arrest your attention from driving. If the call or message is very urgent, pull over before you respond.
Precautions on Parking Lots
Vigilance should be observed not just on the road but also on parking lots. Most people gets absorbed on finding a parking space that they are not watching what else is going on.
Children are hard to spot at busy parking lots especially at night so be vigilant and pay attention. You can never tell when an excited kid will dart out in front of your car in an instant. Fortunately, there are cars now with a backup camera that makes it possible to look at the space behind the car that would otherwise be unseen.
Choose the Right Car
Another paramount component of being a conscientious driver is picking the right car. What I mean by the word ‘right’ is that it must have outstanding safety features and robust reliability background when it comes to quality and manufacturing.
Consumer Reports recommends checking on the accident avoidance capability of the car through simulated maneuvering as well as dry and wet braking.
Wise evaluation of vehicles should include ease of use for controls, visibility, and handling, all of which are helpful in avoiding road troubles. Reliability is also a significant factor when it comes to safety concerns because extreme cases may happen like a car breakdown on the road that will put you in danger.
Get a Good Lawyer and Feasible Insurance
It pays to be insured and ready. You can be a cautious and responsible driver behind the wheel, but you can never tell what will happen to you on the road, never.
It’s vital that you get a good insurance from credible insurance companies and appoint an experienced lawyer that you can trust. There are many competitive and reliable law firms in different states that you can go to for legal services.
When it comes to personal injury protection insurance, make sure to check on the coverage and see if it is feasible enough to your source of income and if it offers a lot of deductibles and limits.
A single car accident can alter your life in an instant before it happens, practice vigilance wherever you go. Vigilance is the byproduct of many factors that you can acquire if you start doing the things listed above.
Dana Atkins is a researcher who is knowledgeable about technology and entrepreneurship based in Michigan. She is also an active advocate of safety driving and continuously supports safety-driving related campaigns in different states. In her free time, she likes to write her thoughts as a form of artistic outlet and whatever article she comes up to, she shares them with her readers.