How to Avoid Car Accidents
Over 6 million car accidents resulting in 42,000 deaths occurred in the United States in the past year. With numbers on the rise, Chicagoans are practicing safe driving techniques now more than ever.
To assure the safety of you and your loved ones, follow these simple driving tips:
1. Keep your eyes moving. Be aware of your surroundings and other drivers by keeping your eyes on the road, and everything around you. Focusing your gaze only on the road ahead will keep you from noticing a potential danger around you. Keep your eyes alert, and open.
2. Adjust your mirrors, and yourself. Before even moving the car, make sure your posture is both comfortable and safe. Your hands should be on the steering wheel at 10:00 and 2:00, or 9:00 and 3:00. Make sure your foot comfortably can reach the brake and gas pedal. Do not be too leaned back to keep you from acting quickly.
Your mirrors should be aligned to see the road behind you accordingly. Your side and rearview mirrors serve as an additional set of eyes. Use them to your advantage, and be aware that not all parts of the road are visible.
3. Be aware of blind spots. Check your blind spots before switching lanes or turning.
4. Follow speed limits. If the speed limit is 50 miles per hour, your car should be driving at a speed of 50 miles per hour. Let people pass you if they are not following the speed limit, and refrain from becoming defensive and trying to “keep up,” or race.
5. Use your seatbelt and signals. Under federal law, all individuals in an operating vehicle must wear a seatbelt. It is for your safety! Another way to keep yourself and others safe is by utilizing your signals when turning, indicating a driving hazard, honking your horn, etc.
6. Don’t judge a book by its cover, but judge a driver by their driving. If a driver does not seem alert or to be following the rules of the road, assume that they will continue their reckless driving and be unaware of sudden changes. If they are driving with dirty or covered windows, assume they will not see you or other distractions.
7. Don’t drink and drive. Do not drive if you have been drinking alcoholic beverages, and do not get in a car with an impaired driver. Use public transportation or a taxi to get to your destination.
8. Do not tailgate. Do not tailgate another driver, and make sure there is adequate space between the cars. A good way to test this is by selecting an object on the road, like a speed limit sign. When the driver ahead of you passes the speed limit sign, count to 3 very slowly. When you have reached 3, your car should pass the speed limit sign.
9. Avoid the fast lane. Plan your trip accordingly, and make sure to leave yourself enough time to get there. Getting into the fast lane and speeding can often times lead to car accidents.
10. Don’t text and drive! Refrain from using any cell phones, or distracting devices on the road. Save it for when you arrive!
If you have been involved in a car accident, contact The Horwitz Law Group for a free consultation at (312) 641-9200.