With an average of 6.8 million automobile accidents happening every year in the U.S., it is important for all drivers to consider their personal responsibility for keeping the roads safe. Even though there is little that you can do about the actions of others, the following five tips will make the road a safer place for both you and everyone else.
1) Drive Defensively – When you drive defensively, you retain a lot more control over your vehicle and everything that is happening around you. Picking a lane and sticking with it is a good way to avoid accidents, and driving the legal speed limit will also help keep you safe. Several Chicago injury attorneys agree that one of the major causes of traffic accidents is erratic behavior, and the entire principle behind defensive driving forces you to avoid this issue.
2) Put the Technology Away – Cell phones might be convenient, but they are also the reason car accidents are on the rise. Even hands-free calling can be dangerous, but it is definitely preferable to the alternative. If you must make a phone call, make sure that you dial while you are at a stop light. Some people are good at multitasking without becoming extremely distracted, but if you are unable to do this, then it is vital not to combine driving with talking on the phone.
3) Turn Down the Radio – Listening to the radio is a relatively harmless activity that has not been the culprit in a large quantity of accidents, but it can become an issue if your radio is too loud. It is important to be able to hear horns and sirens as they can prevent you from ending up in an accident. If you use an MP3 player, it is a good idea to create a long playlist so that you will not have to look down at your iPod or other similar item while you are driving.
4) Dealing with Fatigue – Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of accidents. It is always best to pull over a rest area and take a nap if you are extremely tried, but if this is not a possibility, there are a few other techniques that help get you focused on the road. Chewing gum has been proven to make a driver more alert for a short period of time. Even if you do not have time to sleep, the best way to wake yourself back up for a while is to stop somewhere and get out of your vehicle for a few moments. By doing this throughout the trip, you can stay focused enough to combat the effects of fatigue.
5) Avoid Blind Spots – This should be a tip that everyone remembers from driver’s training, but it seems to be easily forgotten. Driving in someone’s blind spot is one of the easiest ways to cause an accident. Do not rely on anyone else to take the necessary precautions before they change lanes. Instead, simply keep yourself safely positioned to avoid any potential accidents.
By remaining cognizant at all times of traffic rules and common sense, you can greatly reduce the possibility of causing or being involved in an accident. Remember that certain things, such as answering a text, are not as important as ensuring the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road.
Anthony Joseph is a safety researcher, and a contributing author for Chicago injury attorneys. Many accident victims wonder if they have a case every single day, and the best way to find out is to contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer. With the help of an attorney, all your questions will be answered and the potential of your case can be evaluated.