Do you remember an instance where you or a loved one got involved into an accident, without even realizing what happened? Maybe it was raining, or you got a text alert and the time it took you to look down and then back up again at the road meant a crash. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen (at higher occurrences than we would all like to believe).
One thing that remains true: accidents happen.
While there’s never an ironclad way to avoid accidents, there are things you can do to prevent them from happening on your part. Of course there will be serendipitous circumstances that are unforeseen: a blown tire, or someone blind-siding you. That said, you can implement best practices while driving to prevent your chance of a car accident happening.
Don’t Drive Tired
A lot of us have been there: late night driving after hanging out at a friend’s house, or taking a road trip somewhere with family. Either way, nighttime can garner unwanted things such as drunk drivers or potholes you may not be able to see. You can even work overnights and have an unregulated sleeping schedule.
Here are some tips:
If you are feeling too tired, pull over and nap. Set an alarm with your phone or keep one in your trunk.
Try to keep an energy drink/stimulant in your vehicle at all times so you can get a pick-up to get home or drive to the nearest hotel or family member’s house.
Eat properly. Not doing so can affect your ability to function and react.
Your Phone Can Wait
If you can’t avoid looking at your phone while driving, put it on “Do not disturb” or vibrate mode so you aren’t distracted while driving. There is a law in place cited as the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law,” that prohibits using handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle.
If you need to program a GPS, make sure it has voice software before you start driving so you can listen to the directions. According to a 2012 survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “two thirds of drivers admitted to reading a text or email while driving.”
It’s not worth your life or someone else’s—and whatever notification you are looking at will still be there when you arrive at your destination.
While a healthy dose of confidence is good, you should never justify a risky maneuver on the road with “It’s okay, I’m a safe driver.” That simply does not cut it, especially concerning more dangerous intersections and rural roads that aren’t properly lighted. Take a moment and make sure you are evaluating your surroundings at all times.
Although we may fall victim to autopilot on commonly driven roads, things change all the time: construction, pedestrians and accidents happen all the time. Never take the road for granted, or other cars.
These are just a few ways you can avoid accidents, or increase your chances of avoiding a possible accident. As long as you are aware of your surroundings and implement best practices into everyday driving, you will most likely not be at fault in the event of an accident and can pretty much prevent them from happening.
Still have questions? Check out some of our other content, including how to protect yourself with insurance coverage and questions to ask yourself about an accident.