Safety Guidelines to Avoid Suffering an Accident at the Hands of a Negligent Driver
Driving safety isn’t a pick-and-choose your own adventure type of activity. You can’t choose to follow the rules this day and not the next. No matter what you have going on or what you expect from other drivers, all drivers share the responsibility for preventing accidents; this means you as well. This responsibility includes always:
- Driving within the speed limit
- Observing all traffic laws
- Paying attention
- Refraining from drinking and driving
- Displaying proper caution and restraint
Unfortunately, many drivers take their duty to drive safely as a suggestion rather than an obligation. The truth of the matter is that there have always been negligent drivers and there will probably always be negligent drivers. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to fall into this group and suffer the consequences when you hit the bottom.
Avoiding Negligence (From Yourself and Others)
Rather than speeding to get to work on time or sending that crucial “LOL” text, your two top priorities while driving should be preserving your life and the lives of those around you—even if this means being more vigilant in your driving. Staying alert, prepping your drive, paying close attention to your own actions, and being on the lookout for other potentially distracted drivers might very well save a life…quite possibly your own.
The next time you decide to take a ride, be sure to follow these key safety tips to avoid a negligent accident:
- Map your route. Before leaving for an event, check road, traffic, and weather conditions to get a better sense of what you’re headed into. A bad storm can pose hazards that increase your chances of being in an accident. If the weather is too bad or there is an alarming number of accidents on your route, you should think about possible alternatives.
- Check your car. Doing a simple check of your car before you embark on a long journey (or even a short hop in bad weather) can help you be sure that your vehicle is safe. Are your tires in good shape and at the right pressure? Do your windshield wipers work? Are both headlights operational? A simple 30-second walk-around can reveal potentially dangerous conditions.
- Buckle up. Make sure that you and your passengers are properly buckled before you take your foot off the brake. Unfortunately, many people needlessly lose their lives because they fail to properly fasten their seat belts.
- Limit distractions. Distractions are the most common causes of negligent driving. Put the phone away and clear your mind. Finally—though it may seem obvious—avoid driving if you have been drinking. Reports show that alcohol can increase distraction and reduce your reaction times to dangers on the roadways
- Drive defensively. While driving make sure that you’re not only staying alert for any traffic changes or possible accident indicators but also that you’re following the rules of the road yourself. This means watching your speed, using your signals, and obeying traffic signs at all times.
Extra Caution for Holiday Travel
As you can imagine, over holiday seasons, accident rates and DWI incidents spike. Driving becomes more dangerous as traffic triples, stress escalates, and alcohol liberally flows. As a result, your risk of being in an auto accident increases along with the merriment. The good news is that there are several additional precautions that you can take to keep yourself and your family safe during the holidays.
- Psychological prep. Before leaving make sure you mentally prepare yourself for the ensuing traffic jams, backseat driving (and whining), and holiday traffic irritation. If you know it is going to be frustrating going in, the stress is easier to control which will help you avoid dangerous road rage.
- Time prep. Do not let deadlines entice you to drive too fast or in an unsafe manner. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to drive at a safe, comfortable rate of speed.
- Break prep. Schedule yourself regular breaks on longer trips to ensure that you are alert and refreshed.
- Return prep. Perhaps one of the most important tips that you can receive is to make a plan for your return trip before it occurs. If you will be drinking, assign a designated driver. If you are staying for a few days, keep an eye on the weather so you can avoid any dangerous driving conditions.
Prepare Responsibly for the Risks of a Car Collision
While preparation can help keep you safe, other drivers may have different plans. If you are hurt by a careless driver, don’t let someone else’s negligence ruin your future plans.
There’s no need to ever feel alone after a collision because we’re here to help. Place our number in your phone right now, so you’ll have the guidance and help you need at your fingertips following an accident. The name is Steve Lee and the number is 800-232-3711.