Vehicle accidents can cause significant disruptions to your life. You might be without your car for some time while it is being repaired. Even worse, you might be facing the uphill battle of recovering from injuries sustained in an accident. Some injuries are so profound that they have life-altering consequences.
While you have no control over how road users behave, there are steps you can take to lessen your risk of being involved in a vehicle accident:
Maintaining a safe following distance
A Kansas City personal injury attorney from the Devkota Law Firm says that many vehicle accidents could be avoided if drivers maintained a safe following distance. To determine your following distance, choose a landmark on the road, such as a tree.
Once the driver in front of you passes it, start counting how many seconds pass before you reach it. If it is less than three seconds, you are too close. Extend this following distance to four or five seconds when traveling on highways.
You can take preventive measures to protect yourself and any passengers from serious harm if you can stop in time before colliding with another car. Unfortunately, not everyone observes this rule, and some drivers insist on tailgating those trying to maintain a safe following distance.
Excessive speeding is another common cause of vehicle accidents, according to personal injury law firms. Driving over the speed limit might not seem like too big of a deal when you are doing it. However, the effects can be devastating. When a driver speeds, they cannot stop in time when they encounter something like another vehicle, a cyclist, or a sharp curve.
Regulators set speed limits for a reason, factoring in ideal driving conditions, road surface and quality, and proximity to residential or built-up areas. Always stay within the speed limit when driving and slow down when conditions are less-than-ideal, such as during high winds, snow, or rain.
Do not drive distracted
Distracted driving is a growing cause of serious vehicle accidents. Drivers assume that nothing could go wrong if they take their eyes off the road for a second to text or make a call.
Texting while driving is a manual distraction, which happens when your hands are occupied by another task instead of driving. Manual distraction includes changing the radio station, eating, and looking for something in your car.
Visual distraction occurs when your eyes are off the road because you see something that captures your attention. Cognitive distraction happens when your mind is not focused on driving. This could be because of something that happened earlier or dealing with arguing kids on the backseat.
Wearing a seatbelt
Cars are equipped with seatbelts for your safety. Indeed, they are referred to as safety belts in many parts of the world. A seat belt prevents you from being thrown around your vehicle or out of a window during an accident.
Always insist that everyone in your car wears their seatbelts, regardless of how slowly you will be driving or where you intend to go. It is an essential habit that children should learn from an early age.
Perform regular maintenance on your vehicle
Accidents are often caused by cars that experience mechanical difficulties while in transit. For example, tires burst, brakes fail, or the engine overheats. Bringing a car to a safe stop in such conditions is challenging, and sometimes colliding into another car or object is unavoidable.
Take active measures to prevent such events by ensuring that routine maintenance on your vehicle is kept up to date. Check your oil and water, have your tires inflated to the correct pressure, and replace worn tires immediately.