Once you get behind the wheel of a vehicle you’re responsible for protecting yourself, those riding with you, and other motorists and pedestrians roaming the streets around you. We all need to watch out for each other to reduce the number of car accidents that occur. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic injuries are the leading killer of people aged between 5 to 29 years.
Of course not all accidents are fatal, but fixing up your car after an accident is nothing to smile about. The bottom line is we all want to be safe on the road.
Take a look at these 5 pieces of advice that we can all practice while behind the wheel.
1. Avoid distractions
We’re always getting distracted, yet the road should have 100% of our focus. Any phone call or text message can wait. If it absolutely can’t, pull over to a complete stop to answer or make a phone call or read or write a text. The first few seconds when you answer your mobile are when your reflexes are at their slowest, so just don’t answer. That hanging ornament on your rearview mirror is cute, but also distracting so you can remove it so not a single angle of your view is blocked.
2. Don’t depend totally on your mirrors
Use the mirrors, but also scan the area with your eyes and briefly turn your head before changing lanes, or moving into a highway is better. Be aware of those blind spots that side view mirrors can reflect. The best way to adjust the mirror of the passenger seat is to sit in the middle of your car and adjust it from there.
Tailgating is a common cause of accidents and actually accounts for one third of all accidents. When you tailgate, there just won’t be enough time to brake if you have to. You need to create enough distance between you and the car in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to allow 10 feet of distance for every increment of 10 mph you are driving. For example, 50 feet of distance between cars is ideal when driving at 50 mph.
4. Don’t assume
Don’t assume what another driver will do or not do. You might assume the driver will slow down or stop at a stop sign or red light, but that’s not a sure thing. If you’re going to assume, then you can also assume another driver might be drunk or has taken seriously ill, or just has very poor driving skills. So you are the one who needs to remain cautious.
5. Car care
Keeping your car in tiptop condition is important so you’re not driving around in a faulty vehicle. Check, without delays any odd noises, oil change, and other parts that might need replacement or tuning. Remember that poor vehicle maintenance is one of the common causes of car accidents. In fact, The Stephens Law Firm has handled car accident lawsuits which could have been avoided if only regular car maintenance was done on a regular basis. So, make sure your car does not have cracked windshields, faulty brakes and worn out brake pads, etc.
Needless to say, speeding is never encouraged. With summer holidays beginning to kick in, more people are going to be on the road, so everyone has to slow down for their own safety as well as others. In more residential areas, keep an open eye for small kids and pets that can just pop out at anytime. If everyone does their part, we’d all be driving on much safer roads. So, at least do your part.