How to Prevent Car Accidents
No one ever expects to be in an auto accident, but the unfortunate truth is that they happen all too often. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than six million car accidents in the United States every year. The dangers of being in a car accident in Florida are exceptionally high.
Florida is the third-worst state in the US for motor vehicle fatalities. Drivers in the Sunshine State have more than 1,000 car accidents every day. Auto accidents kill nearly 3,000 people, and over 165,000 victims sustain injuries every year.
While motor vehicle accidents are not 100% preventable, there are certain precautions you can take to minimize your risk of being involved in one. Here are some tips on how to avoid car accidents:
Adjust Your Driving Practices
The first step to avoiding automobile accidents is to be aware of your own driving habits.
- Watch Your Speed: Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents. Obeying the posted speed limit is not only the law, but it can also help keep you safe on the road.
- Buckle Up: Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest ways to stay safe on the road. Seatbelts help keep you restrained in your seat in the event of an accident, which can help prevent serious injuries.
- Put Two Hands on The Wheel: With two hands on the wheel, you’ll have more control over the car in an emergency. Keep both hands on the wheel when you are driving, avoid eating, and use your cell phone or other electronics while behind the wheel.
- Stay Sober: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never a good idea. Don’t be a drunk driver. If you are going to be drinking, make sure to designate a sober driver.
- Stay in Your Lane: Most highway accidents occur because motorists change lanes without a signal, cut off other drivers, or drive in the middle of the road.
- Don’t Tailgate: No driver likes to be closely followed. Tailgating is dangerous because it gives you less time to react if the car in front of you stops suddenly.
- Avoid the Fast Lane: The left lane is typically the fastest lane on the highway. Speeding and aggressive driving are more common in the left lane, increasing your risk of being involved in an accident.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
In addition to being aware of your driving habits, it is also important to practice defensive driving by being aware of your surroundings and anticipating what other drivers might do.
- Eliminate Distractions: Distracted driving is another leading cause of car crashes. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, and drinking are all activities that can take your attention away from the road. If you must do any of these things while driving, pull over to a safe location first.
- Keep an Eye Out for Distracted Drivers: As mentioned above, distracted driving is a leading cause of road accidents. Be on the lookout for drivers who are not paying attention to the road, and avoid driving next to them if possible.
- Watch for Pedestrians: Pedestrian accidents are too common, especially in urban areas. Be sure to yield to pedestrians, and always use caution when driving near them.
- Beware of Blind Spots: Every car has blind spots, which are areas where the driver cannot see. Be sure to check your blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
- Obey Traffic Laws: Following traffic laws is not only the law, but it can also help keep you safe on the road. Obeying speed limits, using turn signals, and coming to a complete stop at stop signs are important ways to avoid accidents.
- Be Aware of Road Conditions: Poor road conditions are another leading cause of car accidents. Be sure to slow down, use caution when driving on wet or icy roads, and never drive through flooded areas.
- Don’t Drive Fatigued: Driving while tired is dangerous and can lead to accidents. If you feel tired, pull over to a safe location and take a break.
Maintain Your Car
In addition to being a safe driver, you can also help avoid car accidents by keeping your car in good working condition.
- Regular Maintenance: Keep up with regular maintenance for your car. This includes changing the oil, checking the brakes, and rotating the tires.
- Fix Any Issues: If there are any issues with your car, get them fixed as soon as possible. Driving with a broken taillight or bald tires is dangerous and can lead to accidents.
- Plan for Emergencies: Be sure to keep an emergency kit in your car in case of a breakdown. This should include jumper cables, flares, and a first-aid kit.
- Keep Your Windshield and Mirrors Clean: It is important to have a clear view of the road, starting with a clean windshield and mirrors. Be sure to clean them regularly and replace your windshield wipers if they are not working properly.
You can help reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident by following these tips. Remember, even the safest drivers can be involved in an accident, so always drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida
There are many reasons why car accidents happen, but some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted Driving – This is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and it includes activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, and drinking.
- Speeding – Speeding is a factor in nearly one-fourth of all fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2017, speeding caused 426 fatal crashes on Florida’s roads.
- Drunk Driving – In 2017, 5,015 car crashes were caused by drunk drivers, with over 300 fatalities.
- Reckless Driving – Reckless drivers tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, and run red lights.
- Poor Road Conditions – This can include potholes, debris in the road, and wet or icy conditions.
- Defective Car Parts – Faulty brakes, tires, and other car parts can also cause accidents.
- Bad Weather – While Florida is known for its sunshine and warm weather, high winds, heavy rains, and tropical storms are common occurrences, making driving conditions very dangerous. Even a small amount of rain can increase the risk of hydroplaning.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may also want to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed, secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and motorcycle, bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accident victims.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car crash through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 784-8191 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.