There’s always a chance that you’ll be involved in an automobile accident when you get out on the road. Here are 10 car safety tips for drivers and what to do if you or someone you love were injured in a car crash.
1. Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Not only is operating your vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs illegal in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, it’s also highly dangerous. Not only do you put others on the road at extreme risk when you drive intoxicated, you put yourself and those in your vehicle at risk too. Drive sober or don’t drive at all.
2. Run Through a Quick Safety Check
Before you start driving, run through a quick safety check. Walk around your vehicle and check the tires, make sure your gas tank isn’t open, check your headlights and blinkers, and make sure everything is operating properly. If you’re unsure your car is safe to drive, err on the side of caution and take another vehicle or public transportation.
3. Wear Your Seatbelt
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), wearing your seatbelt can reduce your risk of being killed in a car accident by 45%. It will also reduce your risk of being injured in the accident by 50%. Always buckle up before putting your car in gear.
4. Adjust Your Seats and Mirrors
Before putting your key in your vehicle’s ignition, adjust your sets and mirrors to your liking if needed. This may be unnecessary if you’re the only one who drives your car, however, it’s a good habit to get into nonetheless. The last thing you want is to realize that you can’t see out of your mirrors or reach the brake pedal well when you’re already driving.
5. Never Drive Distracted
In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 2,841 fatal car crashes that occurred as a result of distracted driving. This amounted to 2,335 motor vehicle occupants, 400 pedestrians, and 70 people who were riding a bicycle. That same year, it is estimated that approximately 400,000 of the total number of motor vehicle collisions can be attributed or linked to distracted driving.
6. Reduce Your Speed
It’s important to pay attention to the speed limit at all times when you’re operating your vehicle. However, you may need to adjust your speed based on traffic or road and weather conditions. Speeding was a factor in 25% of deadly crashes in 2018, says NHTSA, and reducing your speed can cut the risk of a fatal accident by 17% for every 1 mph driven under the speed limit, according to The Highway Safety Manual.
7. Obey Traffic Laws
The speed limit isn’t the only traffic law you should obey. Make sure you’re aware of stop and yield signs, traffic lights, and other signage that indicates something of importance where you are.
8. Pull Over If You’re Tired
Fatigued driving can be nearly as dangerous as drunk driving, if not equally so. Fatigue affects the body in much the same way as alcohol, reducing a person’s capacity to respond in a timely manner. The NHSTA suggests that as many as 100,000 motor vehicle collisions reported by police each year are caused by drowsy driving. This causes approximately 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
Always make sure you’re alert when driving. If you start to feel tired, pull over at a rest area or consider booking a hotel.
9. Take It Easy in Bad Weather
Massachusetts and New Hampshire are no strangers to inclement weather, especially in the winter. Snow and ice are common but can easily lead to a motor vehicle collision if you’re not careful. Use extreme caution when driving in bad weather and if possible, avoid driving at all.
10. Avoid Unnecessary Risks
You should also avoid taking unnecessary risks on the road. Speeding, driving recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic, and displaying road rage behavior are all examples of risks that you can easily choose not to take when you’re behind the wheel.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC Today
If you or a family member were injured in a car accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation for damages your family incurred as a result of the incident. Don’t wait to get legal assistance after a collision; your future and best interests rely heavily on the skills of the representation you choose to hire.