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Car accidents are terrifying. They happen in a split second and often lead to serious injuries or even death.
Many people think they’re invincible when it comes to driving, but that’s not the case. It only takes one mistake on your part for an accident to occur. That’s why you should always be aware of how to avoid car accidents before they ever have the chance of happening.
In this guide, we’ll go over some easy safety tips that every driver should know to avoid car accidents.
Maintain Your Car
The most important part of avoiding a car accident is maintaining your vehicle at all times. This includes regular oil changes, tire rotations, and checking hoses for damages. Even one small detail can be the difference between an accident and arriving safely home from work.
Oil changes prevent engine failure. Tire rotations maximize the life of your tires and reduce potential accidents due to worn treads.
Hoses should be checked for damages such as cracks, splits, holes, and bulges, which can cause air leaks. One small hole in a hose is all it takes for your car’s brakes to fail during regular driving conditions, so do yourself a favor and check those hoses.
Avoid Driving While Impaired
The most important thing is to not drive while impaired! The effects of alcohol or drugs can impair any motorist’s ability to drive safely by causing slower reflexes, blurred vision, delayed reaction times when braking, or turning corners quicker than normal, all of which can lead directly to an accident.
The legal limit for alcohol content in the body while driving is 0.08%. Driving with a blood alcohol level above the limit can be considered impaired or intoxicated, which means you’re likely to cause an accident.
Tailgating is when a driver follows the car in front of them too closely. This is more dangerous than you might think because when that person brakes suddenly, your car is likely to hit them.
Dangers of tailgating include being rear-ended, a collision with another vehicle, and not being able to stop in time when traffic comes to a sudden halt.
In addition, tailgating can lower your stopping distance, which could lead to an accident or personal injury if you need to slam on your brakes quickly for any reason.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Everyone’s done it at some point. You’re driving along, and you take your eyes off the road for a second to change the song or answer a quick text message on your phone. That momentary lapse in attention could cost someone their life.
When drivers are distracted, they tend to look down more often, leading them to not see traffic signs, pedestrians crossing streets, cars merging into lanes at high speeds, etc.
Phone use is the most common cause of distracted driving. So you should put your phone away before you start driving. This decision could save someone’s life if you need to make an emergency brake or swerve out of a dangerous situation.
Don’t Fall Asleep Behind the Wheel
Drowsy driving is among the dangerous habits to avoid. If you’re feeling tired or getting sleepy behind the wheel, find somewhere safe to pull over so that you can rest for a while.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to impair cognitive function, slow reaction time, decrease attention span, increase impulsivity (which could lead people into making rash decisions while driving), and other undesirable side effects.
Don’t Make Quick Turns Before Looking Both Ways
Quick turning while driving, even if there isn’t any traffic coming from the opposite direction, can lead to accidents.
Before making any sharp turns, always look in all directions first and be sure that no cars are coming your way. If another car does come around, then quickly honk at them instead of attempting the turn.
Drive Safely in Poor Conditions
It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and drive fast on a dry, sunny day. However, this can be fatal if you find yourself navigating slushy or icy roads without proper winter driving tires.
Driving too quickly could send your car sliding off course much easier when these dangerous conditions are present.
Driving in these hazardous conditions requires a lot of caution and patience. To avoid an accident, the best thing you can do is take your time and drive slowly when roads are slippery or snowy.
Also, keep some winter car accessories in your car. They should include emergency flares, blankets or extra clothes, jumper cables, tow straps, and shovels/ice scraper.
Do Not Overload Your Vehicle
The risk of fatal accidents increase as the weight of a vehicle increases. If your car is too heavy, it takes longer to stop and may not be able to make tight turns as quickly.
Watch Out for Pedestrians
Pedestrian accidents are some of the most devastating, and they happen all too often. Last year, 6,721 pedestrians were killed, a 4.8% increase from 2019.
Pedestrians are hard to see at night, so you should be extra careful when driving in those conditions. You should also yield to pedestrians, and if they cross the street without looking at traffic first, then wait until they’re fully across.
You Now Know How to Avoid Car Accidents
The consequences of car accidents are devastating. In the United States, over 42,000 people died in vehicle collisions in 2020. That’s why it is so important to know how to avoid car accidents.
There is no way to avoid car accidents completely, but we can reduce our risk by understanding what causes them.
Did you find our driving tips informative? Kindly check out our other posts.