How to Avoid Car Accidents: 5 Crucial Tips
A fatal phonecall?
Sam decided to give his wife a heads-up he was coming home early. Looking at his phone, he didn’t notice the family in the compact car backing out of their driveway. In a matter of seconds, his truck slammed into the car, killing their toddler in the back seat.
Sadly, stories like Sam’s happen all the time. Worldwide 1.35 million people die in fatal car crashes every year, and car accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 54. If you want to learn how to avoid car accidents then this article’s for you.
Read on to learn 5 ways to stay crash-free.
1. Keep Both Hands on the Wheel
The first tip for how to avoid car accidents is a simple one. Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Easy right? Not really. Even cars with BlueTooth technology present all sorts of opportunities to take your hands off the wheel.
Whether you’re reaching to grab something from the seat next to you, or taking a sip of your coffee, your hands probably leave the steering wheel a lot. While it may be a difficult commitment to make, promise yourself that while the car’s moving, your hands will both be on the steering wheel.
Wait until you’re at a red light to do things like get a sip of water, or change the station. Next, have a phone holder that allows you to mount your phone on the car’s dashboard. By mounting your phone, you’ll be able to easily see your GPS with a glance. You’ll notice that as you stick to your commitment, keeping your hands on the wheel eliminates all sorts of driving distractions.
Let your partner, friends, and kids know about your new commitment to be a focused driver, and why you’re doing it. Your loved ones will love having the opportunity to support you and possibly even give you a hard time if they see you breaking your word. You’ll also be creating a standard for safety in the vehicle, which is a great example to set for the people you care about.
2. Follow Speed Limits
Next on our list of safe driving tips, let’s talk about the dangers of speeding. Be honest. When you see a speed limit sign, do you obey the law?
If you’re like a lot of drivers, you feel comfortable speeding, as long as it’s just a little bit. For instance, it’s easy to justify going 50 mph, even if the speed limit says 45 mph.
However, while a small speed increase may seem harmless, it isn’t. Any amount of speeding can land you a ticket, and if you’re involved in a crash, you’re more likely to share some of the liability. Instead of bending the rules, choose to follow speed limit signs, no matter what.
In some situations, you may need to go slower than the speed limit sign suggests. If it’s raining outside, and your visibility’s compromised, going under the speed limit could be a life-saving choice. Of course, if the weather’s really bad, just get off the road, and wait out the storm. It’s better to arrive alive after all.
3. How to Drive Safely in a New Car
Moving on, you should also have a plan in place if you’re driving a car that’s unfamiliar to you. Perhaps you’re going to be using a rental car, a friend’s car, or you just purchased a new ride. Whatever the case may be, you should get comfortable with the car’s features before hitting the road.
Sitting in the driveway, take a few moments to notice where all of the vehicle’s lights are. Next, locate the horn, windshield wipers, and emergency lights. After adjusting the seat position and mirrors, go for a ride around the block. Finally, when you know where everything in the car’s located, you’ll be ready to go anywhere your heart desires!
4. Never Drive Tired
The next step in learning how to avoid car accidents is to understand that you should only drive when you’re fully awake. Driving tired is the same thing as drunk driving. Your brain isn’t up for the task of reacting quickly, and your decision-making skills are compromised.
Everyone has a day where they don’t feel fully awake.
Perhaps you didn’t get a full night’s sleep, or you have a lot on your mind. However, there’s a difference between being slightly tired, and feeling drained and depleted. If you’re having trouble keeping up with conversations, or you’re nodding off, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car.
Play it safe and avoid driving anytime you’re feeling groggy or tired. Instead, take a power nap, and give your brain cells a chance to refresh.
5. Avoid Road Rage
Lastly, as a driver, it’s your responsibility to drive effectively, not emotionally. We’ve all been there. Someone cuts you off, or nearly side-swipes you, or you have that person who’s following you so closely you can’t even see their headlights!
When someone makes you upset on the road, it can be tempting to act in ways you otherwise wouldn’t. You might justify your behavior in the name of keeping yourself safe. However, emotional driving is never safe driving.
What should you do instead? Stay calm and make the next safest decision. For example, if someone’s following too closely behind you, pull over when you can do so safely. Let the speeder get to wherever they’re going, and do your best to forget about them.
Know How to Avoid Car Accidents
Now you know how to avoid car accidents in a variety of ways! After reading this article, what’s 1 safe driving change you can commit to?
Are you ready to finally keep both hands on the wheel, no matter what? Are you thinking about how you could do a better job of being an awake and alert driver?
Of course, the safest choice will be to follow all of the tips in this article. After all, driving responsibly is an investment in the safety of your life, and everyone around you! For more tips like these, read another article.