Whether you are a new driver or have many years of experience behind the wheel, it is always a good time to remind yourself of the common good driving habits that you can do to avoid a car accident and injury. These practices include:
- Obeying all traffic laws.
- Being aware of your blind spots.
- Avoiding distracted driving.
- Maintaining a safe vehicle.
- Adjusting for bad weather.
- Using your seatbelt.
Building these driving habits into your routine can help protect you, your loved ones, and others on the road.
Good Drivers Follow These Habits
To avoid a car accident and injury, practice these common good driving habits:
Obey Traffic Laws
While this may sound like a no-brainer, even careful drivers can lose vigilance or cut corners when it comes to fundamental traffic laws, like using a turn signal or maintaining the speed limit.
Traffic laws are designed to keep you and other drivers safe, and failing to follow them can count as negligence in a personal injury case. If you cause an accident by violating a traffic rule, the law may hold you liable for the damages.
Know Your Blind Spots
Most vehicles have blind spots—areas to the sides of the vehicle that remain out of vision even with the help of rear-view or side-view mirrors. You may need to glance over your shoulder to check your blind spot before changing lanes or turning to make sure there is no vehicle or pedestrian there.
Likewise, you should be aware of and avoid situations in which you are driving in the blind spot of another vehicle. Otherwise, the driver may turn into you without warning if they are not vigilant.
Do Not Drive While Distracted
As tempting as it may be to glance at a text message or fiddle with the climate control while driving, these are not safe driving habits. There is overwhelming evidence that distracted driving increases the risk of car accidents and injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that distracted driving crashes kill nine Americans and hurt over 1,000 more every day.
The CDC categorizes distracted driving types as visual, manual, and cognitive. This means that glancing away from the road, removing your hands from the steering wheel, or mentally focusing on anything besides driving can increase your accident risk.
Do Not Drive While Drowsy
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy drivers had 91,000 car accidents in 2017. The NHTSA reports that even caffeinated individuals experiencing serious sleep deprivation can nod off at the wheel for 4 to 5 seconds at a time.
Adjust for Inclement Weather
It is important to adjust your speed and increase your following distance as necessary for rain, snow, ice, or strong winds. If inclement weather obstructs visibility, turn on your headlights.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Keeping up with your vehicle’s basic maintenance is important to your safety on the road. A key component to monitor regularly is your tires. Make sure you inflate your tires correctly, monitor their tread depth for wear, and replace your tires if they become worn or damaged.
A bald tire could hydroplane on a rainy road, causing you to crash. Likewise, a damaged tire could suffer a blowout and force you to make an emergency stop in traffic. Other vehicle systems that you or your mechanic should regularly maintain for safety include the brakes and engine oil.
Never Drive While Drunk
Always use a ride service or a designated driver instead of driving if you are intoxicated. Driving under the influence can impair your sense of judgement and control behind the wheel.
Use a Seatbelt
Make sure that you and your passengers use a seatbelt, even if you are just traveling a few blocks. If an accident occurs, your seatbelt can help keep you secure and limit additional injuries.
Understanding Your Rights After a Car Accident
No matter how responsible you are as a driver, there is always a chance that you will be involved in an accident due to another driver’s negligent actions.
If you experience such an accident, you may have a right to recover compensation for your damages under personal injury law. These damages may include:
- Medical bills.
- Estimated future costs of medical care.
- Lost wages.
- Reduced earning capability.
- Property damage.
- Pain and suffering.
- Other non-economic damages.
Typically, accident victims pursue the responsible party’s insurance company for compensation in a car accident claim. If the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against them and let a judge or jury decide on the matter.
Contact a Law Firm That Can Fight for Your Rights
Cordisco & Saile LLC represents car accident victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If your car accident occurred in either state, call our firm at (215) 642-2335 for a complimetary, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.
As a full-service law firm, Cordisco & Saile LLC can take over the legal work from day one, handling all communications, investigations, and negotiations in your case when we represent you.
We take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our clients do not owe us anything upfront. Our lawyer fees only come if and when you recover compensation in your case.