Everyone has been stuck behind a car accident on the freeway at some point. In fact, accidents and other traffic disturbances are one of the leading causes of roadway congestion. But while getting stuck behind a bad accident is frustrating, it’s much worse to be in one of the cars involved in the accident. There are about 10 million accidents per year, and one estimate suggests that the average driver will be involved in three or four accidents during their driving lifetime. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to prevent another car from striking you in an intersection. But there are some things you can do to avoid a car accident.
Distracted driving was a problem even before everyone had smartphones, but now it’s worse thanks to things like texting and driving. Government numbers show almost 500,000 Americans are using their phones and driving every day, and that’s only during daylight hours.
People’s brains are not designed to focus on something like driving while drafting a text message to a friend. And the faster you’re going, the more dangerous distracted driving is. One-half of a second is all it takes for someone to slam on their breaks in front of you. If you aren’t ready to react, there’s going to be an accident.
If you’re worried that your phone’s notifications will distract you, turn your phone on silent. Better yet, put your phone in the trunk before you start the car. What if someone else is driving while on their phone? That’s unfortunate. If they hit you and cause injuries while you’re on Interstate 40 in Middle Tennessee, you may have a case for calling a car accident lawyer in Nashville. Civil court juries often take a dim view of people who text and drive.
Check your vision
It’s tough to avoid hitting things in the road if you can’t really see what’s in (or on) the road. Avoiding accidents is one of many reasons not to forget the importance of an annual eye exam. An eye doctor can give you vision tests and tell you if you need contacts, glasses, or another kind of vision correction.
In many states, you’ll get a quick vision test when you go into the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew your license. But vision problems don’t necessarily develop right before you go in to renew your license every four or six years. That’s why an annual visit to the eye doctor is your best shot at catching vision issues before they cause a collision. If you notice that it’s harder to see, you can always call your eye doctor in-between annual exams, of course. For instance, if you have trouble driving at night in the rain, it could be that your car’s defrost mechanism is broken, or it could mean you need glasses.
Avoid road rage
Getting upset on the road is common, but road rage puts both yourself and others in danger. A poll from 2016 found that almost 4 in 5 drivers “expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage.” While honking at someone who cuts you off is relatively mild behavior that most of us have done at one time or another, some drivers take it to extremes and do things like bump or ram another car to show them they are mad. Getting out of your car and screaming at another driver is also high-risk behavior.
It is important that anyone on the road practice safe driving. This entails putting away distracting cell phones, staying alert to everything around you, and not involving yourself in road rage. By ensuring your vision is strong and your vehicle is in excellent operating condition, you can further protect your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. If you happen to be involved in an accident, it’s important to stay calm and to consult with a car accident lawyer. By doing so, you may find that you are entitled to compensation for any damages you may have sustained.