Have you ever been involved in a car accident? The majority of people have been involved in at least a few auto accidents during their lifetimes. Without a doubt, many car accidents occur through no fault those involved. However, all accidents have a cause—which can usually be attributed to the negligent driving habits of those behind the wheel.
As a driver, you have the responsibility towards your passengers as well as other parties on the road. Most importantly, your driving habits could also prevent subjecting yourself to the risk of injury. So, what could you do to ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other parties on the road?
- Watch your speed. Speed is a factor in some of the most devasting auto accidents. Most fatal auto accidents occur at high rates of speed. However, even speeds that are too slow can result in terrible accidents—as slower vehicles often pose a hazard for vehicles being driven at normal speeds.
- Drive defensively. Aggressive drivers are more likely to cause auto accidents than defensive drivers. Stay in your lane, avoiding any sudden movements with your vehicle or swerving in and out of traffic.
- Keep your hands on the wheel. The 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock hand positions are recommended for a reason. Keeping your hands on the wheel at the 10 and 2 o’clock marks gives you the best control over your vehicle, especially if you suddenly have to react to avoid an accident.
- Keep your distance. The closer you follow the car in front of you, the less time you will have to react (to stop) if traffic comes to a sudden stop. Be aware of the unpredictability of traffic; give yourself the time—and space—to react.
- Use your signals. Your turn signals help other drivers know where your vehicle will move next. Signaling before changing lanes or making turns allows other drivers to prepare for your next move (such as slowing down to give you more space to change lanes, for example).
Car accidents could also be prevented by avoiding any distractions. Some of the most common distractions that drivers encounter include mobile devices, their passengers, and even things outside their vehicles. In general, whenever drivers are trying to do other things in addition to driving (e.g. responding to text messages, eating breakfast, having a snack, handing something to a passenger, or looking at people/cars off to the side of the road), they risk causing an accident.Sure, the ability to multi-task is often seen as a positive trait; however, trying to multi-task while you are driving can be dangerous for you, for your passengers, and other parties on the road.
“Ultimately, all car accidents are avoidable,” says personal injury lawyer and founder of Downtown LA Law Group, Farid Yaghoutbil, “but a significant amount of people have driving habits that increase the risk of causing car accidents.” Without a doubt, your negative driving habits could increase the risk of auto accidents. Your actions could result in your injuries, the injuries of your friends and family, and the injuries of strangers. In many cases, these injuries are life-altering if not fatal. When you practice positive driving habits, you significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident and suffering severe injuries or losing your life.
There will always be a driver that is speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and trying to do a million other things while driving. Yes, it is possible that you could suffer an accident even if your driving habits are impeccable. Regardless, you should do your part to avoid causing any preventable accidents while you are behind the wheel of your vehicle.