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Safety Tips: What You Need to Do to Prevent a Car Accident

Nobody ever wants to experience a devastating car accident. There’s so much to worry about in the aftermath with property damage, physical injuries, long-term medical needs, and more. Unfortunately, these crashes do happen.

Negligence is the most common cause of car collisions. While you may feel as though you’re a good driver, you cannot always dictate the actions of others on the road. As such, you must recognize safety tips to help prevent an accident when you’re on the road.

These safety tips are vital information for you and your entire family. Be sure to practice these actions whenever you drive. If an accident does occur while you are following these safety tips, it’s most likely because of the other driver’s negligence, giving you the option to pursue a claim.

Call our firm at (888) 425-6070 if you need help filing a claim.

Learn more about our safety tips below.

Drive Defensively

You may have heard the term “defensive driving” in the past. Defensive driving is imperative for younger, inexperienced drivers; however, adults can benefit from these preventative actions as well. When someone says to drive defensively, they are telling you to do the following:

  • Always remain alert: Fatigued or drunk driving is the easiest way for someone to impair their senses. For you to stay alert, you want to ensure that you are wide awake and can adequately react to other drivers’ actions promptly and efficiently.
  • Avoid distractions: Taking your focus off the road for just a few seconds can be disastrous. Whether texting or reaching for the radio, distractions exist. These distractions can cause you to lose control or fail to recognize traffic stopping in front of you.
  • Follow the 3- to 4-second rule: On the road, your highest risk of crashing involves the cars in front of you. You may not brake in time for traffic, or another vehicle rear-ends you, and you hit the car in front of you. To avoid this, give three to four seconds to the vehicle in front of you. If there is terrible weather, you want to increase this time.

Defensive driving is one of the safest ways to prevent other drivers from crashing into you. Typically, by staying focused and alert, you should be able to recognize when another driver puts you in danger. Avoiding the negligent driver takes just a few additional steps, such as pulling to the side of the road and out of harm’s way.

Give Other Drivers Enough Space

Keep the three- to four-second rule in mind regarding the vehicle in front of you. However, also make sure you are giving other cars, trucks, and motorcycles enough space to drive responsibly. For instance, recognize the wide turning radius of a large commercial truck and steer clear.

You also want to avoid riding too close to the lines on either side of you. When you drive too close to lines separating lanes, you can scare the driver to the right or left of you. Riding the line may force the other driver to swerve and sideswipe another vehicle. In some instances, a moment of lost focus means you can easily sideswipe the other vehicle when you drive too close.

Be Aware of Signs of Negligence

Recognizing the negligent actions of other drivers can help keep you safe. You should understand what actions others may perform when they are drunk, distracted, inexperienced, or otherwise reckless. Some of the things you want to watch for include:

  • Drivers swerving in and out of traffic
  • Drivers slowly crossing over into other lanes and correcting erratically
  • Drivers with no headlights on at night
  • Drivers who speed up and slow down often
  • Drivers running traffic signals

If you see any of these signs, stay away from the driver. Don’t try to pass them because you never know if they will lose control of their vehicle. Instead, stay a safe distance and use a hands-free device to report the driver to your local authorities.

Maintain Your Vehicle Correctly

One of the most important things you can do is maintain your vehicle. A lack of maintenance can make you liable if a crash occurs because you have worn brakes, tread separation, or worn windshield wipers. If you don’t maintain your vehicle, you risk suffering severe injuries.

Proper maintenance should include the following:

  • Change your worn brake pads
  • Change your worn windshield wipers
  • Change your tires when your tread is low
  • Change your oil as necessary

Typically, these aspects are essential to your vehicle driving smoothly. Tire tread, when worn, can cause you to lose traction and control on the road. And worn brakes make it challenging to stop when needed.

Understand Traffic Patterns

If you are driving in a part of town you’re not familiar with, the city streets may have complicated traffic patterns. One-way streets, strange traffic signals, and roundabouts can make it difficult for you to understand where to go. Understanding these traffic patterns ahead of time can prevent you from experiencing a severe collision.

While it’s impossible to stop others from driving negligently, you should recognize the various things you can do to stay safe. Taking these steps can help you avoid devastating injuries and protect you and your family on the road.

If someone is negligent, though, and they crash into you, make sure you know your rights. Speak with an attorney if you need compensation for property damage, lost income, medical expenses, and more after an accident.

Goldstein & Hayes wants you to stay safe. If you need legal help, we’re just a phone call away: (888) 425-6070.