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Ways to Avoid Automobile Accidents

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NHTSA’s preliminary report shows that over 42,900 people died in road accidents in 2021. Unfortunately, most of these lives were lost in avoidable circumstances.

While no level of caution can guarantee an accident-free drive, you can take some preventive measures to minimize your chances of getting into one.

Avoid Distractions

Distraction ranks high in the leading causes of accidents on American roads. According to statistics, it is responsible for more than 3000 deaths every year.

Distracted driving can be anything that occupies your mind other than operating the vehicle.  It can include texting, talking on the phone, smoking, checking your GPS, getting lost in thought, or happenings outside a vehicle.

It is impossible to get rid of all distractions. But, most are avoidable, such as your phone. Switching off your phone is the best option, but you could use your car’s hand-free features if you must use it.

Texting or reading a text is out of the question and among the most dangerous distractions. If your phone is too tempting, switch it off. Also, do your eating and drinking off the road.

Avoid Alcohol

Drunk driving kills approximately 28 people per day on American roads. This translates to approximately 10,000 deaths a year. According to a study by The Zebra, over 17.3 percent of the respondents admitted to having driven after drinks.

The legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08 BAC. However, alcohol impairment begins before a person reaches the legal limit. So even when you could pass a sobriety test, it is not worth risking your life and that of other road users, so avoid driving after consuming any amount of alcohol.

Maintain a Safe Speed

Some car engines pack quite some power and can reach very high speeds. If you have such a car, it’s understandable you may want to test its limits, but a busy road is not the place for that. You have to stick to the posted speed limit.

At other times, you may need to speed up when running late. It is best to allow yourself extra time to compensate for unseen eventualities to avoid running late. For example, if you need 30 minutes to drive to get to an appointment, be on the road 45 or 50 minutes prior to your appointment.

If you are driving in bad weather, you have to adjust your speed for the conditions because bad weather can compromise your ability to control your vehicle. “If you cause an accident in bad weather, you can not use weather as an excuse,” says car accident lawyer Christine Bremer of Bremer & Trollop Law Offices.

Maintain a Safe Following Distance and Be Careful With Intersections

Besides speeding, also ensure you maintain a safe following distance. Ideally, you should be a two-second distance from the car in front of you under normal circumstances. In adverse weather, increase your following distance to four to six seconds.

Most accidents occur at intersections. So, you must be extra cautious at intersections, like always stopping at red lights. If there are no lights, ensure that you follow the signage at the intersection and yield if the other driver has the right of way.

If you have the right of way, do not assume that the other driver will yield, so pay close attention to their actions. If they don’t intend to stop, you may need to stop even when you have the right of way. Also, use your turn signals whenever you want to make a turn or change lanes to ensure that the driver in your rear is aware of your intentions.

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