The road can be a dangerous place, whether you’re a motorcyclists, pedestrian, bicycle rider, vehicle driver or passenger. An estimated 40,000 people died as the result of motor vehicle accidents in 2016, and countess more suffered injuries, according to the National Safety Council. Whether by traffic law violations, driver distraction, drunk driving, or some other cause, these accidents are too numerous to go by unchecked. Do what you can to improve road safety by following these simple rules to protect yourself and your family.
1. Drive Defensively
Even if you abide by every traffic law in the book, you still run the risk of getting into an accident whenever you’re on the road. The best thing you can do to avoid the mistakes of other drivers is to drive defensively. This means being observant, watchful, and ready. Before you enter an intersection look both ways, even if your light is green or you have the right of way. Never assume any other vehicle sees you, always wait for a safe time to merge, switch lanes, or turn so that you never have to rely on the visibility and attentiveness of other drivers.
2. Avoid Distractions
Put down the phone, and avoid making radio, navigation, or other distracting adjustments while driving. Anything that takes your eyes, hands, or mind away from the task at hand is considered a distraction and can be extremely dangerous while driving. Have everything situated before you start your car, pick a music station and establish your navigation system so that you won’t have to while you drive. Avoid using your phone while you drive, even with a hands-free device, as these are proven to be just as distracting as hand-held phones while driving.
3. Educate the Teen Drivers in Your Life
Teenage drivers are much more prone to accidents because they are, by nature, much less experienced. In fact, car crashes are the number 1 cause of death in teens, either because of drunk driving, passenger distraction, cell phone use, nighttime driving, or some other related cause. Inform your teenage of the risks, and honor the graduated driving laws. The graduated driver licensing system require teens to drive without others in the vehicle for at least 6 months before they are granted a full license, which has proven to reduce the number of dangerous crashes by nearly half. Thought the law prohibits cell phone use, make this rule clear to your teenager, and encourage them to never drive while intoxicated or get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.
4. Never Drive Impaired
You should never, under any circumstances, drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any impairment can cause a slower reaction time and thus may lead to a dangerous, even deadly accident. Not to mention, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and punishable by law. Don’t take the risk, and don’t ruin your future, instead, opt for a driving service or a sober driver to get you home.
Driving while drowsy, though less widely-discussed, can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. If you are sleepy, do not get behind the wheel. Before a long drive, make sure you are well-rested and have eaten a fulfilling, healthy meal to keep you fueled and ready for your drive. If you feel sleepy while driving, try turning your air conditioning up, or playing loud music to keep awake, or ask a passenger to drive for you. If you are unable to stay awake, don’t risk the safety of yourself, you passengers, and everyone else on the road. Instead, pull over to a safe area and take a quick, energizing nap before returning to your drive.
At Bryan Caulfield Esq., we understand the importance of road safety, and we’ve seen first-hand how destructive motor vehicle accidents can be. For more information about what causes car accidents, or what you should do after an accident, we encourage you to reach out to our Clearwater car accident attorney. With more than 25 years of experience under his belt, Attorney Bryan D. Caulfield, Esq. has the skills necessary to fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. For reparation for damages including medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and physical damages, we can help. C
Contact Bryan Caulfield Esq. today to begin building your Clearwater car accident case.