Accidents happen all the time, and it’s impossible to completely prevent them from happening to you. When you’re driving, it’s essential to maintain focus so that you can operate your vehicle effectively and help prevent accidents from happening.
However, even if you try your best to avoid an accident, it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be involved in one no matter how unlikely the odds may be. Every year, major injuries are caused by SUV accidents and other vehicle accidents that cause many deaths.
With that said, there are several steps and tips you can take to reduce your chances of getting in a car accident and being injured while driving. Here are the top 7 tips to significantly reduce your chances of getting in a car accident:
- Always wear your seat belt
It’s hard to believe that seatbelts were not standard equipment on cars until the 1970s. However, since then, it’s been proven over and over again that seat belts can reduce fatalities by as much as 50% when worn correctly.
Even better, car accidents are majorly less severe when a passenger is wearing their seatbelt. So, if you have one child or pet in your car—and they’re strapped into their safety belt—you should be wearing yours, too.
- Stop at stop signs
In many states, it is illegal not to stop at a stop sign. The dilemma zone is where the driver must decide whether or not to stop the vehicle. This area is marked by dashed white lines on the road and can extend up to 10 feet before the intersection.
The key thing to remember here is that there are two types of stop signs: those that require vehicles approaching them from the right-hand side to yield and those that require vehicles approaching them from both directions (i.e., an all-way stop).
Generally speaking, if you are approaching from the right-hand side, then you should yield and pull over when safe; however, if you are approaching an all-way stop, then everyone must come to a complete halt.
- Avoid aggressive driving
Aggressive driving is often the cause of car accidents. You may not realize it when you’re doing it, but if you’re tailgating, speeding, or trying to merge into an already busy lane, then you are risking your safety and the safety of others on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that aggressive drivers are three times more likely than other drivers to be at fault in crashes.
Studies have shown that aggressive driving is often caused by impatience and anger. The NHTSA warns us against road rage by explaining how situations, where we can’t control our emotions, can lead to dangerous consequences for ourselves as well as others around us.
- Don’t drive distracted
Driving distracted can be one of the most dangerous things you could do while behind the wheel. Driving distracted has been linked with more than 3,000 deaths each year and is responsible for an estimated 25% of all vehicle crashes. Here are some tips on how to avoid driving distracted:
- Turn off your phone and put it out of sight when you get into your car.
- If you need directions or have to call someone, wait until you have reached your destination before doing so.
- Slow down for rainy days
Slowing down on rainy days is one of the best things you can do to help reduce your chances of getting into an accident. You should also slow down if there is standing water on the road or there are puddles from rain. Make sure that you maintain at least five car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead, so that way, if they make a sudden stop, it will give you enough time to react.
- Stay awake and alert when you drive
When you are driving, you must stay alert and awake. Make sure that you are paying attention to the road and surrounding traffic, as this will help reduce the chances of getting into an accident. If you feel sleepy at all, pull over for a rest break or take an energy drink if necessary.
- Ensure your headlights are clean and bright
Keeping your headlights clean is important for both safety and visibility. Wipe them down with a damp cloth after every time you wash your car. If they’re too dirty, use some toothpaste or baking soda and water to scrub them clean.
The baking soda will help remove any bugs that may have made it onto your headlights. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using anything abrasive on your lights so you don’t damage them.
Follow these tips to stay safe on the road and avoid the chances of getting into a car accident. Your safety is crucial not only for you, but your family as well.