It shouldn’t be a surprise that driving, whether it be a vehicle, motorcycle, or other form of transportation, can be an adventurous activity. But, one wrong decision can ruin not only your life, but the lives of those involved in an accident you cause. Cars are amazing machines and give you the freedom to travel wherever you want. However, keeping yourself and those around you safe starts with you…and awareness.
Here are a few key factors for accident prevention:
Being aware of your surroundings and anticipating the unknown are two of the most important factors in accident prevention. Look twice is a campaign most of us have heard of and it is true, looking twice does save lives. Being attentive to ever-changing conditions such as weather, traffic, motorcycle riders, people on bikes, and pedestrians helps to lower your risk of being involved in an crash.
Backing Up In A Car
When driving, or even before you get in your vehicle, it’s imperative to be constantly aware of your surroundings. There are 3 keys to even backing out of your driveway or a parking space. First, look before you leave by walking around your vehicle for obstacles such as children, toys, or animals. Next, be wary while you’re backing up…constantly looking for people or other vehicles that may suddenly appear. Also, keep your radio low so you can hear horns, yelling, or other noises. Lastly, taller vehicles should look up, especially when going under parking structures, carports, etc. to ensure they can clear the height. Remember…accident prevention is imperative.
And distracted driving is one of leading causes of vehicular accidents. Some of the most common types of distraction include talking to people in your vehicle, dealing with children in your vehicle, talking/texting on the phone, using the stereo/navigation/entertainment system, and eating/drinking. Recently more and more states are adopting the “hands-free” mode of communication, which is designed to be used without using hands.
Some drivers may think that they have to be drunk to be impaired. They don’t realize that buzzed driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Too many times, buzzed drivers get behind the wheel thinking they’re alright to drive. However, with impaired judgments and slowed reaction times, they become the catalyst to an impending crash. The choice to drive after drinking alcohol is a deadly one with deadly consequences.
Many drivers that drive at night have night blindness, yet they place themselves behind the wheel. It’s common knowledge that once the sun goes down, more attention is required when driving. Pedestrians and people on bikes become moving shadows. Simply put, don’t drive if you can’t see at night.
Every driver has driven over the speed limit at one time or another, and either by accident or on purpose. We might not realize that by exceeding the speed limit, we’re putting others on the road at risk. The faster you drive the less reaction time you have to react to the unexpected and avoid an accident. In addition, speeding is a factor in over 20% of deaths involving motor vehicle crashes. Survivability of a crash at speeds over 20 mph decrease with every mph increase in speed. Slow down. Look for vulnerable road users.
Every driver has driven over the speed limit at one time or another, and either by accident or on purpose. We might not realize that by exceeding the speed limit, we’re putting others on the road at risk. The faster you drive the less reaction time you have to react to the unexpected and avoid an accident. In addition, speeding is a factor in over 20% of deaths involving motor vehicle crashes.
It is highly imperative to realize that adverse weather conditions can cause your vehicle to handle differently. In wet, slippery, and icy conditions your vehicle is harder to control and you may need a greater distance for stopping. Additionally, rain, fog, and heavy snow greatly reduce your ability to see your surroundings.
Following a few simple rules can save your life. When you’re heading out to your car, be vigilant by looking around your vehicle before you leave, and remaining alert while operating your vehicle. It’s not just your life that’s on the line.