April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and in keeping with the spirit of the program, drivers should commit to increasing their safety on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 6 million crashes occur each year, with over 30,000 people killed. Millions of others end up in emergency rooms for their injuries. Fortunately, you can hire a car accident lawyer to help you get compensation for your injuries, but ideally you will prevent accidents from happening in the first place by following these tips.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
About 10% of all fatalities are caused by distracted driving. A driver only needs to take his eyes off the road for a split second for an accident to occur. To prevent distractions, avoid the following:
- Talking on the phone
- Sending or reading text messages
- Looking at a passenger while speaking to them
- Reaching for something
If you absolutely must send a message or take a phone call, remember to pull over to the side of the road. When driving, always scan a few seconds ahead to see what is coming so that you can react.
Place Your Hands at the 3:00 and 9:00 Positions
Inattentive drivers often drive with only one hand on the steering wheel, either at the 12 o’clock or 6 o’clock positions. Instead, remember to hold the steering wheel firmly with two hands. By keeping them in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, you retain maximum control of your car and can swerve if necessary to avoid an accident.
Give Yourself Enough Time
When drivers feel rushed, they take risks. You can avoid the temptation by building enough time into your trip so that you can drive at a comfortable speed. You can also build in time to pull into rest stops or restaurants if you need to make a call or check your email. If you are planning a long trip, break it up into two days so that you are not driving while sleepy.
To prevent a car accident, you need to anticipate reckless or aggressive driving from other people on the road. To that end, always remember to do the following:
- Leave an acceptable cushion between you and the car in front of you. Two seconds should be sufficient distance so that you can respond if the lead car suddenly brakes. If the weather is bad, aim for 4 seconds.
- Pay attention to any erratic behavior, such as a car that drifts into the other lane. The driver might be drunk or tired.
- Note aggressive driving behavior, such as a driver shouting out of their window or making obscene gestures. This person could be in the grips of road rage.
Make Necessary Repairs to Your Car
Not all accidents are caused by driver inattention or recklessness. Instead, your car might malfunction and cause a collision. Brakes can fail, tires can explode, and turn signals often burn out. Each of these can lead to a crash.
To keep your car in tip-top condition, develop a service schedule for the car. You can check tire inflation and whether lights are working every month on your own. Every three months, check the battery, belts, and power steering fluid. If you notice anything wrong, take your car immediately to the mechanic.
Call a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
Even the most careful driver can suffer a car accident. At Walker Morgan, our Lexington personal injury lawyers can aggressively fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.