Each year, millions of accidents happen in the U.S. In 2021 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 42,915 people were killed in U.S. traffic collisions. Many more sustained serious injuries requiring care in the hospital. Whenever you get behind the wheel of your car, you need to exercise reasonable caution and care to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. Here are 10 tips to follow to protect both your safety and that of others from a Florida car accident attorney at Lane & Glassman.
1. Never Drive While Impaired
Impaired driving is involved in a large percentage of fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. Driving while drinking alcohol or using drugs can impair your decision-making ability, reaction times, and coordination. If you are highly intoxicated, you can also suffer visual problems and potentially lose consciousness. If you have been drinking or have used illegal drugs or prescription drugs that impair your driving ability, don’t drive. If you need to go somewhere, ask a friend to drive you, call a taxi, or use a rideshare app.
2. Follow the Posted Speed Limits
Many accidents are caused by drivers traveling at speeds higher than the posted speed limits. When you speed, you don’t have as much time to react to potential hazards. The small amount of time going faster than the speed limit might save you is not worth the risk of causing a car accident.
3. Don’t Drive While Distracted
You should never drive while you are distracted by something else. Keep your attention focused on the roads. Don’t talk or text on your cell phone, mess with your in-dash electronics, or engage in any other activity that takes your attention away from the road. If you need to make a call or answer a text message, pull off the road where it’s safe to do so.
4. Don’t Drive While Drowsy
This is a difficult step for many people who fail to get enough rest at night. Make sure you get sufficient sleep. People who don’t get enough sleep during the night can be just as impaired while driving as someone who drives drunk. If you feel too tired to drive, trust your instincts and avoid it.
5. Always Buckle Up
You buckle your seat belt every time you get into a car. Make it a habit to wear your seat belt, and make it a rule for anyone else who rides in your vehicle. A seatbelt can keep you and your passengers from being thrown out of your vehicle during a car crash. You have a much higher chance of surviving a serious collision if you are properly belted.
6. Pay Attention to Weather Conditions
If you are driving in bad weather, you need to exercise added caution. Don’t drive faster than what the conditions allow. Keep extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If your visibility is bad, pull off the road and wait for the weather to improve before you resume driving.
7. Don’t Follow Other Cars too Closely
One of the rules of safe driving is to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and those of others ahead of you. Maintaining a safe distance gives you enough time to react if the car in front of you suddenly stops or turns. Use the three-second rule to identify how far back to stay from a vehicle during the day. At night or in bad weather, follow the six-second rule. Both rules can be used by counting the time from when the vehicle in you passes a stationary object and when you do.
8. Pay Attention to Other Motorists
Even if you always drive safely, others might not be following the rules. Pay attention to other motorists around you on the road so that you can be prepared for them to suddenly do anything, including swerving, failing to use their turn signals, tailgating, and others. When you pay attention, you can take steps to avoid an accident with a driver who is exhibiting poor driving behavior.
9. Practice Defensive Driving
When you encounter a driver who is driving aggressively, maintain a safe distance, don’t speed, and remain calm. Don’t abruptly change lanes and yield to other vehicles to avoid a potential accident.
10. Properly Maintain Your Vehicle
You need to follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule to keep it in a safe operating condition. If your vehicle isn’t driving the way it should, take it to a mechanic and get it repaired. Check your tire pressure whenever you get fuel to ensure the tires are at the right pressure. Make sure your brakes are in good working condition, and get them checked whenever they feel soft, vibrate when braking, or squeak.
Talk to a Florida Car Accident Attorney Lane & Glassman
Even when you exercise safe practices while driving, you can’t control the actions of other motorists. If another motorist crashed into your vehicle and left you with serious injuries, you should speak to an experienced attorney at Lane & Glassman. We have represented negligence victims throughout South Florida for years and can help you understand your rights. Call us today for a free consultation at 954.874.3631.