As we approach the end of summer, anticipate a notable surge in the volume of travelers for this Labor Day weekend, in comparison to last year. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that approximately 50.7 million drivers were expected to travel on US roads during the summer.
Notably, Labor Day weekend travel is up this year. According to AAA’s booking data for hotels, rental cars, cruises, and flights, domestic bookings have risen by 4%, while international bookings have seen a remarkable 44% increase from the previous year.
Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or a weekend getaway, these tips on how to avoid car accidents can help you stay safe.
Top 10 Tips To Help Avoid A Car Accident
Car accidents can be life-altering, often resulting in serious injuries and damages. By following some simple guidelines, you can significantly reduce the risk of an auto accident. Here are the top 10 tips to help you avoid car accidents:
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
This is perhaps the most crucial safety measure you can take. Seatbelts save lives and greatly minimize injuries during collisions. Ensure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up before hitting the road. Buckling up can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45% in a passenger vehicle and 60% in a truck.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Keep your attention on the road by refraining from using your cell phone, eating, or engaging in any activity that takes your focus away from driving. In 2021, distracted driving accidents claimed 3,522 lives on our nation’s roads.
Be Cautious of Blind Spots
Adjust your mirrors properly and be aware of your vehicle’s blind spots. Always turn your head to check before changing lanes or making a turn.
Perform Routine Maintenance
Regularly maintaining your vehicle ensures that it’s in optimal condition to handle the road. Check your brakes, tires, lights, and other essential components before embarking on your journey.
Limit Your Night Driving
Driving at night can be riskier due to reduced visibility and the possibility of encountering impaired drivers. Most drunk driving accidents occur late at night and during the early morning hours. If possible, try to travel during daylight hours.
Don’t Drive While Fatigued
Fatigue impairs your reaction time and decision-making abilities, making it dangerous to drive. If you’re feeling tired, take a break or switch drivers if you are with others who are licensed to drive.
Don’t Drive In Bad Weather
Inclement weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, or fog can make roads slippery and decrease visibility. If the weather is unfavorable, consider postponing your trip or driving cautiously. Rain creates slick and dangerous surfaces for cars, trucks, and motorcycles and often causes automobiles to lose traction and spin out of control.
Exercise Caution at Intersections
Intersections are common locations for accidents. More than 50% of total fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. Always look both ways, obey traffic signals, and proceed with caution, even if you have the right of way. Always slow down when approaching a yellow light. Only pass through a yellow light if there’s not enough time to stop safely.
Maintaining a safe following distance gives you more time to react to sudden stops or unexpected situations. Keep at least a 3-second gap between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Learn Defensive Driving Techniques
Enroll in a defensive driving course to enhance your skills and knowledge. Defensive driving teaches you how to anticipate and avoid potential hazards on the road.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Understanding the common causes of car accidents is crucial for preventing them. By being aware of these factors, you can take proactive steps to stay safe on the road:
Speeding – Speeding is a leading cause of car crashes across the United States, claiming the lives of 12,330 people in 2021. Driving above the speed limit reduces your reaction time and makes auto accidents more severe. Always adhere to posted speed limits, especially in unfamiliar areas.
Distracted Driving – Using your phone, eating, or any other activity that diverts your attention from the road increases the risk of accidents.
Failure to Yield – Ignoring right-of-way rules at intersections or when merging can lead to collisions. Always yield when required and communicate your intentions clearly to other drivers to help prevent road accidents.
Driving Under the Influence – Drunk driving is a significant factor in traffic accidents in the United States. Each day 37 people are killed on our nation’s roads in car accidents involving drunk drivers. Alcohol and drugs impair your coordination, judgment, and reaction time. Never get behind the wheel if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Instead, ensure you have a sober ride home whether that is a designated driver or rideshare service.
Drowsy Driving – Fatigue affects your ability to stay alert and make quick decisions. Avoid driving when you’re tired, and take breaks during long journeys.
Reckless Driving – Aggressive behaviors like tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring traffic signs put you and others at risk. Reckless drivers are often impatient in traffic so be sure to take extra care around drivers who exhibit aggressive driving behaviors. Stay calm and follow traffic rules.
We Advocate for Auto Accident Victims
By familiarizing yourself with these common causes of auto accidents and taking steps to avoid them, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of being involved in a car accident. Safe driving practices not only protect you but also contribute to the overall safety of everyone on the road.
In the unfortunate event that you or someone you know becomes a victim of a car accident, it’s important to understand your rights. At Harbor Accident Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys fight for auto accident victims. We will help you obtain justice and recover fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us at (858) 757-8724 for a free consultation.