Car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States, particularly among young people, yet the painful reality of these incidents is that most of them are avoidable. As we start the New Year, then, why not make road safety a top priority? These 4 simple road resolutions could save your life or the life of someone you love.
If you’ve read your insurance plan carefully, you may have noticed that you get a discount if you take a defensive driving course. That’s because these classes teach drivers strategies for avoiding accidents, even when others are tailgating, speeding, or road conditions are less than ideal. Consider taking a class, and encourage other family members to take a defensive driving course, too. Some states even offer additional driver safety licensing for teens, for whom the leading cause of death is motor vehicle accidents.
According to Ward & Barnes, P.A., distracted driving accidents are becoming more common; they report seeing more auto accident cases involving distraction over recent years, even as technology goes hands free. The reason? Distraction actually takes many forms.
Even as drivers have adjusted to putting their phones away (and many still don’t do that), voice-to-text, hands-free calling, and even Bluetooth music programs can all take drivers’ attention away from the road, as can eating, tending to children, or driving with a pet in the car. The best rule of thumb when driving is, if the task can’t wait, then you need to pull over.
Take Care Of Your Car
Vehicle maintenance is a critical part of safe driving, so make sure you’re taking your car to the shop regularly. Get the oil changed, check the brake fluid, and make sure your lights are working. Not only may maintenance problems result in you being stopped by the cops, but they can also make your car hazardous – preventing your brakes from working well or making your car harder to see. And be sure to keep proper documentation of any repairs you have done.
If you’re ever in a car accident, you’ll be faced with endless paperwork and it can help to demonstrate that your car was in working order before the crash.
Our culture is non-stop, and whether you’re a parent driving carpool, a truck driver on a long-haul route, or just coming home from a visit to family, there’s a lot of pressure to get where you’re going, no matter the hour. That means that people often push through exhaustion, driving drowsy.
Even if you don’t fall asleep, drowsy drivers tend to zone out, and if your concentration wanes for even a few seconds, you can cause an accident. Rather than remaining on the road when fatigued, find a place to pull over and rest, stretch, or spend the night. The majority of accidents happen very close to home, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a short drive or a long one.
Safe driving should be a top priority for every driver, but after a few years on the road or when we’re on a familiar route, it’s easy to become complacent – to go a little too fast or not pay enough attention. The problem is that, any time you do this, you take your own life, and the lives of others into your hands.
In 2020, take responsibility for your behavior behind the wheel for everyone’s safety.
Interesting related article: “Car insurance rates after a collision.”