When you are driving home from work, it is easy to forget just how quickly a typical drive home can turn into a horrific car accident. There are so many factors on a normal drive that require your attention and time. According to statistics published by the DMV of the state of Florida, there is an average of more than 650 crashes per day. The number of fatalities in auto crashes has ranged from a low of just over 2,500 to a high of just over 3,500. Getting home a minute earlier is never worth the safety of yourself, your family, and other drivers on the road.
The last time you took a driving class or brushed up on the rules of the road may be a long time ago. It is really easy to forget the basics of driving or not be aware of the law as it changes. A few simple tips you can implement in your normal driving practices include:
- Stay off the road during times accidents are most likely to occur. Statistics show the deadliest period of time on American roadways happens between midnight and 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Just because you are not driving impaired by alcohol, does not mean other drivers around you are not impaired. A seemingly safe situation can turn dangerous quickly when an impaired driver comes at you in the wrong direction or makes an illegal turn.
- Slow down when you are on the road. Even though other drivers may be speeding past you, it just isn’t worth it. As the saying goes “Speed Kills”. The faster the collision, the more likely you are to experience serious injury. Even though you likely will not get pulled over when you are going only 5mph over the speed limit, it just isn’t worth adding speed to your driving.
- Pay attention. The state of Florida has not officially made texting while driving illegal like many other states but you should prepare for this to happen at some time in the future. You can get a fine added on to an existing ticket for texting while driving. Aside from our cell phones, eating while driving, talking on the phone, talking to your children, cleaning your car, putting on makeup, and even reading are common causes for car accidents on the road. An attentive driver is less likely to have serious traffic accidents. A great tip is to keep your cell phone out of reach while you are in motion.
- Drive defensively. When you were learning to drive, hopefully someone taught you to drive defensively. To drive defensively is to assume everyone else on the road is an inexperienced driver. Stay prepared for things like slamming on the brakes, unexpected lane changes, swerving, and more. Unfortunately, it seems like nearly every driver on the road acts this way!
- Don’t follow too closely. It is easy to find yourself driving too close to the driver in front of you and when that driver slams on their brakes you have no time to react. The speed on a highway easily changes from 75 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour in just a few seconds.
- Do not drive if there is any question about passing a sobriety test. Most women and some men reach the legal limit after having just two drinks. When you are established in a career and have a family, it is never worth risking your safety by drinking and driving. Even if you don’t hurt someone, you may find yourself in serious legal trouble and potentially losing your job from getting a DUI.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your vehicle. Many drivers feel like it is throwing money down the drain when you get regular maintenance of your car. Maintenance protects you from unexpected failure of your systems, keeps your brakes safe, and detects minor problems before they become major concerns.
- Check your tire pressure. If your tire pressure is low, it changes the way your car drives and will especially alter the way you stop during large rain storms. Worn or deflated tires lead to skidding, rollovers, and even hydroplaning. Keep a tire gauge in your car so when you think your levels are low you can simple check the numbers. Most gas stations have air you can use to pump your tires for free or a few cents.
- Do not get worked up when you are driving. What seems like a major issue on the road is not a big deal if it is the cause of an accident. All too often, a driver cuts you off and it makes you want to increase your speed to cut them off or get past them on the road. One great way to change your attitude is to listen to a relaxing program when you are in the car or learn to shrug it off.
- Keep your car clean in case of an accident. When you do have an accident, a clean car can save you some serious problems in the future. Loose objects in the front seat go flying when you slam on the brakes and it is a natural instinct for you to reach your hand over to try to stop your items from flying around. While you are trying to prevent your things from flying your attention leaves the road and can cause an accident.
Never forget that it is not worth rushing or being unsafe when it means compromising the safety of yourself, your family, or other drivers. If you had a car accident, seek out the help of a qualified team of attorneys able to defend your interests. When it comes to getting the medical care you deserve, don’t depend on your insurance company to be honest and fair in giving out money to fulfill your claims.