5 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent a Car Accident | 9.1.2020

Leading causes for car accidents in America and how to stay safe on the road. 

Last year, around 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention from car wrecks. However, according to The National Safety Council, more than 90 percent of car accidents in the United States are caused by human error. Common mistakes include distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving and driving in bad weather conditions. So, how can you help avoid a car wreck? Here are some tips, based on available research.

1. Stay focused on the road while driving.

Distracted driving injures more than 1,000 people each day in the US. Types of distractions include visual, manual and cognitive, so make sure to keep your eyes fixed on the road, hands on the wheel and mind focused on driving at all times to help avoid a car accident. Texting is just one example of a common distraction for drivers and combines all three types of distractions. 

Did you know that when you send or read a text message, you take your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds? This is long enough to cover the length of a football field while driving at 55 mph. 

2. Plan for safe transportation.

Alcohol can slow your reaction time, negatively impact motor skills and coordination, reduce concentration and inhibit judgement, yet driving under the influence continues to be one of the most dangerous causes of car accidents in the nation. Driving while impaired has the potential to cause serious personal injury to you, your passengers, other drivers and other users of the roads. On top of that, penalties for a DUI conviction include time in prison, high fines and license suspensions. 

Plan for safe alternatives to driving under the influence: appoint a designated sober driver, make use of public transportation, schedule a ride via a ridesharing company (Lyft, Uber, etc.) or call a sober friend.  

3. Drive defensively and be predictable.

Always be aware of what the drivers around you are doing. One rule of thumb is to give yourself a two-second cushion between you and the car ahead of you, four seconds in bad weather. This will help you be a predictable driver by not needing to make sudden stops or lane changes. Making sure that drivers around you are able to predict your actions can help keep you safer on the road and avoid serious personal injuries. 

Tip: using your blinkers, checking blind spots before merging and giving yourself ample time to stop makes you a more predictable driver. 

4. Stay up to date on your vehicle.

Sometimes accidents are caused by mechanical failures, so make sure you check for and take note of any recalls. Also, make sure to take your car in for regular maintenance. 

Free Resource: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an easy resource to check for vehicle recalls. Simply enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) here

5. Be Patient.

Nobody enjoys hitting a red light or driving “slowly,” especially if you’re in a rush. However, these precautions are put in place to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of the people on the road around you. At the end of the day, safety is the most important thing while driving. Rushing to get somewhere can cause greater delays, car accidents and even serious personal injuries to you or those around you. 

Two men in suits talking in front of the courthouse.
Joe Thickens and Eric Cavanaugh Conversing Before a Court Hearing.

Follow these 5 tips to help keep you safe on the roads. As personal injury lawyers, we have seen and represented many people who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Make sure that you are keeping yourself and others safe while sharing the roads. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys today if you or a loved one has been involved in an auto crash. We are here to help. 

Do I need a lawyer after a car crash?

The team at Cavanaugh and Thickens is here to answer your legal questions and keep your best interests in mind. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights, secure critical evidence, and help you decide how to proceed with your case. Get the peace of mind and transparent guidance that you deserve. To learn more about your rights after a Columbia SC auto accident, contact a member of the Cavanaugh and Thickens team today.

Written by Joe Thickens. SC Personal Injury Attorney.

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