Image Credit: Pixabay
We all spend so much time driving around in our cars that it is easy to forget how dangerous they can be. However good a driver you are, there is always a small risk that you could get into an accident, even if it isn’t your fault.
It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but being prepared is always better than not. And, there are a few things that you can do to prevent accidents happening or at least mitigate any damage that could occur should the worst happen.
Lots of the advice that follows will probably be obvious to you if you are already a safety-conscious driver, but you would be surprised how many of the list you might need to be reminded of. For example, how often do you take a short journey without bothering to put your seatbelt on? Have you had a drink and then got behind the wheel recently?
Avoiding these common accident causes will give you peace of mind that your driving is as good as it can be, but there is still a chance that your will be caught up in an accident that is not your fault. In this case, you will need to know what to do next. This article on how to prove fault in a car accident from Lawsuit Legal will be a great help, especially if you have been in an accident recently.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
There are plenty of good reasons to wear a seatbelt, and it’s not only the driver who must wear theirs. Passengers can become projectiles should your vehicle crash. This means that if anyone in the car isn’t wearing a seatbelt, the force of them hitting someone else in the car could kill them. Not to mention the fact that they could easily be launched out of the windscreen or any of the windows and into the road. Not a pleasant idea.
Make sure that your children are all fastened in and use carseats for younger children to make sure they are safe too. Children under 13 are advised to ride in the back seat and use child locks to make sure that they can’t open the door accidentally as you drive. As a parent, it is your responsibility to keep your children safe so however much they complain, make sure they wear their seatbelt!
Image Credit: Pexels
Don’t Drink and Drive
You’ve only had a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with your meal so you should be fine to drive – right? Well, you might be under the limit but driving is still a really bad idea. Even if you feel completely fine, getting a cab or public transport is a much better plan. In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes. This number is staggering and should really make you think twice about whether you should get behind the wheel.
If you want to have a night on the town, always plan ahead to figure out how you are going to get home safely without driving yourself or allowing a friend to drink and drive. If driving really is your only option, take it in turns to be the designated driver. To make this role more appealing, you could establish a rule that whoever drives has all their soft drinks paid for by the rest of the group.
Take Your Time
When you’re on familiar roads, or particularly wide open roads, it is easy to find your speed creeping up without you even realising. Because you feel confident on this stretch, going a bit faster doesn’t feel like an issue. Take note of any speed limits in your area and stick to them. You should also be aware of changes to the weather and slow down in high winds or rain.
Always leave plenty of time for your journeys so you can’t be tempted to speed and if you do find yourself running late, find a safe place to pull over and simply tell whoever you’re meeting your situation. Being late is annoying, causing an accident is a disaster. Add timekeeping to your list of important things to keep on top of, and all will be well.
Image Credit: Pexels
Ignore Your Phone!
We are so connected these days, that the thought of ignoring our phones is actually unpleasant. However,unless your car has a bluetooth connection, you shouldn’t be on your phone while you drive. There are two obvious reasons for this: if you are concentrating on your phone, you aren’t concentrating on the road and if you have a phone in your hand, you can’t use that hand to steer or change gear in an emergency.
Even with a bluetooth connection, you need to make sure that you are still giving your full attention to the road and not allowing yourself to get to drawn into the conversation you are having. It only takes a second of inattention to cause trouble so if in doubt pull over to finish your conversation in a safe place or simply call them back when you arrive at your destination. In fact, Washington State has recently put this into law so that you can no longer hold your phone, coffee or mascara as you drive.
Get Your Car Serviced Regularly
If you are a sensible driver and you have got your seatbelt on, haven’t had a drink, left in plenty of time and have even gone so far as to leave your phone in the glovebox out of reach, there is one last thing you need to make sure you do: take your car for regular service checks.
Even if you are a perfect driver, a car on its last legs isn’t going to get you far and could certainly get you into trouble. Make sure you take your car for regular checks with a trusted car mechanic to be safe. You should also keep an eye on your tyres. Bald or flat tyres will make steering more difficult and could cause you to skid if you are driving fast. You should also top up your oil and screenwash regularly.
Stay Safe and Know Your Skill
Everyone thinks that they are a good driver, but often we aren’t quite as good as we think we are. Driving safely is simply a case of being aware of what is happening around you on the road and responding to any hazards that may occur. Usually, the best thing you can do is drive at a sensible speed and be patient with other drivers and road users.
If you do feel that you aren’t as safe on the road as you once were, speak to your doctor. This is an especially good idea if you are an older driver and you are less steady on your feet or your family have expressed concern.
Most of the time you are on the road, you will be perfectly safe but the point is that you shouldn’t take this for granted. Following this advice will help to make sure that you are as safe as you can be. Continue to drive sensibly and everything should be fine.
If you are caught in a car accident, then having your seatbelt on and a fully serviced car will give you the best chance of getting out unharmed and walking away with just a few bruises. Make sure that you have full car insurance to cover any damage costs and know your rights. It may be best to contact a lawyer to advise you on how to proceed after an accident especially if the accident was not your fault.