Whether you are a new driver or have multiple 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.
More than 2.5 million people are involved in crashes each year, and distracted driving is the leading cause. By some estimates, as many as 1,000 people are injured every day in crashes related to distracted driving.
Follow these seven tips below to help make the roads a safer place for everyone:
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.
Don’t Cut Corners on 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.
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.
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.
Never Drive After Drinking
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.
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.
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 or visit www.cordiscosaile.com for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.