No one wants to get into a car accident. Unfortunately, they occur on a daily basis all across the world. In fact, there is an average of 1.3 million deaths caused by car accidents globally every single year, with an additional 20-50 million people left with injuries or disabilities in the aftermath of a crash — that averages to about 3,200 deaths a day.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help be a part of the solution. Here are some steps that you can take to prevent car accidents before they happen!
#1: Stay out of the fast lane
This isn’t a race – you just want to arrive at your destination alive. Stay away from the fast lane, where most highway accidents occur. If you’re in one of the middle lanes, you have more “escape” options if someone on the road looks like they’re about to cause a problem. On another note, highway patrol is more likely to keep a closer eye on you if you’re driving in the left lane.
#2: Be on alert for threats
When you are driving, you should drive defensively by always being on the lookout for potential problems. If a car is rapidly shifting lanes or swerving, or you see a biker a little too close for comfort, or a pedestrian looking like they might decide to jaywalk into oncoming traffic, then be ready for it! Try and get away from the threat safely if possible, and if not, be prepared to stop abruptly or otherwise avoid a collision if the potential hazard comes to fruition.
#3: Avoid blind spots
Adjusting your rearview and side mirrors will help to provide you with a nearly seamless panoramic view of the back and sides of your car. However, you can’t rely on these alone! You should physically turn to look directly into lanes next to you to avoid missing something your mirrors left undetected. While you’re driving, you should also keep the blind spots of other drivers in mind as well, especially when it comes to truckers. Try and stay out of others’ blind spots as much as possible or spend as little time as possible in them.
#4: Drive with your hands in the proper position
The best position for driving is with your hands at 9 and 3 o’clock. Instead of driving in a lazy way with your hands at the bottom of the wheel or one hand at 12 o’clock, you should always opt for the 9 and 3 o’clock position to facilitate maximum vehicle safety and control. If you’re forced into a place where you need to do some quick maneuvering on the road, this will be the best position to keep you safe.
#5: Position your seat properly
You’ll have better control of the wheel if your seat is close enough that you can rest your wrist on top of the steering wheel with your arm stretched out while your back is pressing against the seat.
#6: Judge a driver by their car’s condition
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a driver by their car. If they have body damage or dirty windows, this is a sign of an inattentive driver – one that you want to stay away from.
#7: Know your car
Every car has its limits, and you should always know what your car is capable of. If your vehicle leans a lot when rounding corners, then wrenching your wheel one way might not be the best way to avoid an accident. Be familiar with your car’s tires and brakes and how they react to certain situations. This way, you will know the best way to react in a scary situation.
#8: Keep your car well-maintained
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your cars to keep them accelerating, steering, and stopping when they are supposed to. Change your tires when you are supposed to so you’re ready if you encounter slick roads, etc.!
#9: Be cautious at nighttime
Some people choose to travel at nighttime to stay away from traffic, but this only poses new hazards. You might be tired, not able to see everything well, or encounter other tired or drunk drivers. Drive with extra caution around the witching hour!
#10: Be courteous to other drivers
You aren’t the only one on the road, so make sure to be aware of the others around you and treat them with respect. If someone is going slower than you would like, this isn’t a good enough reason to omit the following distance between you. Keep a safe following distance, or if they truly are going to slow, you can safely pass them when possible.
By following the above tips, you should know the best ways to drive defensively and how to prevent a car accident.
However, sometimes, there is nothing you can do and the situation is simply out of your control. If you are involved in a car accident, contact our Mesa car accident lawyers at SGP Law today!