Driving a car is pretty much ubiquitous, with the majority of the population of people over 18 having a license and owning a car. Though most people are safe drivers, driving can still be dangerous. About 37,000 people are killed annually in car, motorcycle and truck accidents in the U.S., according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel. To lessen the chances that you will be involved in a crash and need a personal injury attorney, there are some things you need to do and some behaviors you need to avoid.
One of the most important things to remember is that you need to follow all traffic laws. Many motor vehicle accidents are the result of speeding or not stopping or yielding when required to. Make sure you follow the posted speed limit and heed all traffic signs and lights. It’s also important to always yield to pedestrians, even if they are violating the law.
Another important thing to remember when driving is to always adjust to conditions. If it’s raining or snowing, for example, you should slow your speed and lengthen your following distance. This will help you deal with reduced ability and also have more time to stop. In some cases, such as an ice storm or thick fog, the only safe move may be to cancel or delay your trip altogether.
Not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol should seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something millions of people do everyday. More than 1 million people were arrested for drunk driving or being under the influence of drugs in 2015, and just drug use, not counting alcohol, is the cause in about one out of every seven car and truck accidents. Even people who would never touch illicit substances or drive after drinking can inadvertently put other people at risk by driving while taking prescription medications. If you are taking a prescribed medicine, you should ask your doctor about whether driving is discouraged or even prohibited for a certain amount of time.
One final safe-driving tip to heed is to keep your vehicle in good shape. Car and truck accidents are more likely to happen if you have a blowout or one or more of your lights doesn’t work. Check your car periodically to ensure everything works as it should and have your car or truck serviced regularly.
Driving is always going to have some level of danger, because you can’t control what other drivers are doing. However, making sure you are being as safe as possible on the road will greatly reduce your chances of being involved in a crash and sustaining a catastrophic personal injury.