It does not matter if you are driving to a neighborhood shopping center or embarking on a daylong road trip, you are vulnerable to the reckless driving of others. Furthermore, if you do not practice safe driving techniques, you increase your chances of getting into a car accident. While it is impossible to remove completely the chances you will be involved in a car accident, you can increase your safety on the road and evade common situations that lead to crashes.
Avoid Common Distractions
While it is common sense to not drink and drive so you do not impair your judgment and become easily distracted, drivers put their safety at risk when engaging in numerous other activities while on the road. The last thing you want to do is cause an accident and be on the wrong side of an auto accident lawsuit. Distractions that can lead to serious crashes include:
- Talking on the phone and texting
- Adjusting audio or climate controls
- Looking at or talking to other occupants
- Rubbernecking so you can get a good view at an accident
- Eating or drinking as you drive
- Pets that move around inside the vehicle
- Attempting to read a map or newspaper
Numerous states and municipalities have passed laws the prohibit drivers from using their phones while driving. However, accidents continue to happen because people refuse to untether themselves from their mobile devices even while driving. In fact 23 percent of motor vehicle crashes each year involve mobile phone use.
If you feel it imperative to use your phone, pull over to a safe place to make a call or text.
Buy Proper Child Seats and Booster Seats
The safety of your child is paramount when you are on the road. Therefore, it is crucial to find the right car seat for your child that can help protect them in the event of an accident. Do not use seats that are too small, easy for you child to escape so that they endanger themselves, or distract you while driving.
When you are in the market for a car seat make sure to complete the following tasks:
- Make a list of car seats that fit your child's age and size
- Make sure the car seat you want to purchase has an NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) safety label
- Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website for a list of recent recalls to sure the car seat is not listed
Whatever you do, never purchase used child car seats from online classifieds or a garage sale. If a car seat was in an accident, its safety may be compromised. Car seats are expensive but your child's safety is priceless.
Invest in Crash Avoidance Technology
Despite your best efforts, there are times when you may become distracted for a brief moment, do not see objects in your blind spot or have trouble making out road conditions during inclement weather or at night.
Advances in automotive technology provide consumers with many tools to help them navigate and avoid accidents. You should consider investing in these features when you buy a new car or upgrade an older vehicle. Crash avoidance features include:
- Forward collision warning
- Automatic braking
- Adaptive headlights
- Lane departure warnings
- Parking assistance when you back up
- Rearview cameras
- Drowsiness detection
Investing in these features can also help to lower your car insurance rate.
Even if you equip your car with the latest and greatest in technology and practice safe driving, other drivers can still run into you. So be prepared for the possibility of an accident. Keep an emergency cheat sheet in your car to help you remember what steps to take including:
- Moving to safe place and making sure your passengers are OK
- Calling the police right away
- Exchanging information with other parties in the accident and witnesses
The cheat sheet should also include an up-to-date list of emergency contacts including your insurance agent as well as the number of an accident attorney so you can call someone to obtain immediate legal advice after an accident and protect your interests.
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