The last thing anybody wants as they are driving down the road is to see another vehicle careening towards them out of control. Being in a car accident can lead to devastating injuries that take a long time to recover from, which is why learning how to prevent a car accident in the first place is crucial.
How Common Are Car Accidents?
While it isn’t a pleasant thought to consider, car accidents are actually quite common on roadways around both the United States and the world as a whole. In fact, it’s estimated that there are around 13 car accidents which occur every single minute globally. While not each and every one of these accidents results in death or even injury, being in a car accident can still be a traumatizing experience.
Avoiding a Wreck: 6 Tips to Remember
Learning how to avoid a car accident is the best strategy any driver can take in order to protect themselves behind the wheel of a car. In particular, there are six main tips that can help you to stay safe:
Scan the road ahead of your vehicle
First and foremost, utilize your eyes when you are on the road in order to spot any potential hazards in your path. All too often drivers fall into a sort of trance when driving down a familiar road, but this can lead a person to not see oncoming danger. Try to look at least 12 seconds ahead of your vehicle in order to see objects, traffic, or anything else which may require you to adjust your speed or positioning.
Leave enough following distance
Building off of the last point, it’s important to leave enough following distance between your vehicle and the vehicle(s) in front of you. This means that you should never be tailgating another vehicle, even if they are going slower than you would like. Instead, aim to leave three-to-four seconds of space, if not more, between your vehicle and others. At reasonable speeds, this should be adequate breaking time.
Never mix substances with driving
While it should go without saying given that it is drilled into people’s heads from a young age, it still warrants mentioning: never mix substances and driving. Regardless of whether those substances are alcohol, weed, or various other drugs, being impaired can quickly lead to a car accident on the road. Building off of this, if you see a vehicle swerving erratically then give the vehicle plenty of space rather than trying to see what’s going on.
Handle preventative maintenance on your vehicle
An often-overlooked tip for avoiding a car accident is to handle preventative maintenance on your vehicle as soon as possible. This involves the regular maintenance a vehicle requires to avoid breakdowns and can encompass tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, fluid top-offs, and more. Refer to the owners’ manual of your vehicle for the specific maintenance schedule you need to follow.
Remove distractions from your vehicle
One major cause of accidents on the road is distracted driving. Whether that distraction comes from a cell phone, food, or even another person is irrelevant, as any distraction can lead to a wreck. To that end, so that you can avoid calling a car accident lawyer due to a wreck, remove any potential distractions that may take your complete attention off of the road.
Act defensively, not offensively
Finally, the last and perhaps most important tip when driving is to be defensive on the road, rather than offensive. Focus on what you can control on the road which is your own driving. Assuming you see someone ahead of you who is driving far under the speed limit, do you best to avoid getting angry and swerving around them as this sudden movement can potentially lead to an accident. Instead, wait for a natural opening in the road and then pass at a controlled pace. Following simple rules such as this can help you be more defensive which will reduce your risk of being in a wreck.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, a driver can only control their own actions and not the actions of others on the road. This means that some car accidents are simply unpreventable no matter how hard a person tries. With that in mind, each of the above six tips can still help to reduce the odds of finding yourself in a situation where you need to make some sort of evasive maneuver with your car.