Being able to drive is an amazing luxury. As adults, we often forget what it was like not having a car or a driver’s license. It’s incredibly convenient to have your own form of personal transport, rather than relying on other people or public transportation.
However, driving is also a major responsibility. After all, you’re driving a heavy object down the road at great speeds. The consequences of our actions behind the wheel can be great.
Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to avoid car accidents. We can help. Keep reading for the most important tips on how to drive safely.
Stay Off Your Phone
Did you know over 3,100 deaths occur each year due to distracted driving? While distracted driving encompasses a wide range of actions, texting, checking emails, and scrolling through social media are some of the most common occurrences.
Smartphones can be addictive, and the vast majority of Americans own one. However, you should never use your phone while operating a vehicle. Every time you take your eyes off the road to read a text, change the music, or respond to someone is a chance you’ll cause an accident.
If you can’t keep your eyes off your phone, keep it secured in the back seat or in the trunk to help you avoid the temptation.
Keep Your Eyes On the Road
Keeping your eyes on the road, in general, is one of the best tips on how to avoid car accidents. This is where other types of distractions can have dire consequences.
Common distractions that will take your eyes off the road include:
- Roadside distractions
- Navigation systems
- Eating and drinking
- And more
To avoid an auto accident, don’t try to multitask while driving. If you have a child or pet that is being unruly, pull over and remediate the situation. Trying to fix things while operating a vehicle can cause a wreck.
Drive Defensively, Not Aggressively
We’re often told to drive defensively, but what does that really mean? In most instances, it means staying vigilant and avoiding car accidents despite what other drivers are doing.
For example, don’t follow the vehicle in front of you too closely. Should they brake suddenly or decide to make a last-minute turn, you could slam into the back of them. Not only could this cause injury and damages, but you will be at fault in the accident.
We also recommend giving truckers plenty of space. While most truck drivers are professionals with excellent training, the nature of their vehicles inhibits their ability on the road.
It takes them longer to stop and they must take wider turns. They also have less visibility and maneuvering capabilities. As a smaller motorist, do your part to stay out of their way.
Always Check Your Blind Spots
You can also learn how to avoid car accidents by checking your blind spots every time before you turn or change lanes. While our side mirrors and review mirrors provide great visibility, they can’t help you see everything. There are blind spots around your car where other motorists will become invisible to you.
Therefore, before turning or changing lanes, you must turn your head to check these blind spots to avoid unnecessary auto accidents.
This is especially important in preventing motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are much smaller and harder to spot on the road. They, more than any other motorist, are likely to disappear entirely in your blind spot.
Adjust Your Driving Habits for Inclement Weather
If you’ve been driving for more than a year, you know how significantly the weather can affect the roads. For example, snow and ice can make it difficult to stop and steer. Fog and dust storms can substantially limit your visibility.
If you must drive during inclement weather or on hazardous roads, learn how to avoid car accidents in these conditions. Drive slower and give other drivers more space.
If you live in an area prone to snowfall, we recommend investing in snow tires. You’ll be able to use them for several years during the winter season.
Additionally, warm up your car to allow the windows to defrost on days with freezing temperatures. Built-up snow, ice, and fog will limit your ability to see while driving.
Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained
The importance of vehicle maintenance while learning how to drive safely cannot be overstated. Keeping your car performing at an optimum level will ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists.
For instance, bald tires can reduce your traction on the road and can even cause blowouts at high speeds. Windshield wipers that don’t work can be a hazard if it starts to rain or snow. Brakes that need replacing can increase the amount of time it takes you to stop or slow down.
Burnt-out turn signals will fail to alert other drivers of your intention to turn or change lanes. Broken tail lights won’t warn people behind you that you’re stopping. As you can see, avoiding car accidents can be as simple as keeping your vehicle properly maintained.
Never Drive Under the Influence
Drunk driving is never excusable. It’s exceedingly dangerous, no matter how “okay to drive” you think you are.
Alcohol and other substances alter our ability to think rationally and make good decisions. They also affect our hand-eye coordination, timing, and vision.
As such, you should never drive while under the influence of any kind of substance. Drunk drivers and other intoxicated motorists commonly cause accidents on the road.
Remember, it’s not just your life you’re gambling with, it’s every other person on the road.
Is It Too Late to Learn How to Avoid Car Accidents?
There are a lot of safety tips out there to help you learn how to avoid car accidents. However, you can never control other drivers or animals on the road. If you’ve already been involved in a car accident, it’s time to start thinking about the next steps you need to take.
We can help. Contact us today to get a free case evaluation to determine your damages and potential compensation. If you were involved in an accident that wasn’t you’re fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for your medical bills or financial losses.