Safety First: How To Steer Clear Of Road Accidents

Do you drive to work every day or do you love nothing more than getting on your bike and exploring the open roads on the weekend? Whether you travel on two or four wheels, it’s essential to be aware of the risks involved. Even if you’re only popping to the local store, it pays to put safety first. Here are some of the most common causes of accidents on the road and some tips to help you steer clear of trouble.

 

Speeding

Be honest. When you’re on the highway or a winding coastal road, do you ever hit the gas and put your foot down? There’s a thrill that comes from driving fast, but there are speed restrictions in place for a good reason. If you drive at speed, the vehicle is harder to control, and the impact of a crash is likely to be more forceful. You could sustain life-threatening or even fatal injuries, and there’s also a risk of injuring other drivers and pedestrians. When you’re on the road, pay attention to the signs, and make sure you’re driving within the limits. If you’re going too fast, you run the risk of being pulled over by police. If you have a crash when speeding, you’re likely to be held liable for the accident, and you could face legal charges. If you’re unsure of the speed limit, err on the side of caution.

 

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/chadelliott2012/5659144073

 

Adverse weather

Driving in adverse weather conditions can be dangerous. The roads are more unpredictable, and it can be harder to maintain control of your car or bike. Keep an eye on the weather forecast if you plan to make a journey and adapt your driving style to the conditions. If the roads are icy or slippery, reduce your speed and keep well back from the vehicle in front. Remember that if you do need to stop suddenly, your stopping distance will increase significantly. If torrential rain is falling or there is thick fog, and you can’t see, find a safe place to pull over until the roads are clearer. Take care when it’s snowing outside. Unless you have a truck or a 4×4, you may struggle to negotiate the roads. Unless you absolutely have to make the journey, consider staying at home. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

Image via https://www.pexels.com/photo/car-road-snow-winter-12875/

 

Drink driving

How do you feel when you have a drink? Most of us feel confident, and we may be a little more outgoing than usual. While confidence can be a very positive thing, it can also be dangerous. Drivers tend to take more risks when they’ve been drinking, and alcohol can also affect your ability to make judgments. You may also find that your reaction times increase when you’ve had a drink. There are different laws and rules in place depending on where you live, so the best thing to do is avoid drinking altogether if you do plan to drive. If you do want to drink, book a cab or arrange a lift home. Approximately 1 in 3 crashes in the US involve one or more drivers who have been drinking.

 

A set of car keys in the foreground and glass of whiskey behind.

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/99329675@N02/11064883376

 

Distracted driving

How often do you change the radio station or look at your phone when you’re driving? You may think that there’s nothing wrong with reading a text, but if you take your eyes off the road, even for a second, this could put your life and the lives of others in danger. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. If you’ve been hit by a driver who wasn’t paying attention to the road, you have every right to consider making a compensation claim. You can find out more by visiting https://www.craigswapp.com/boise/motorcycle-accident-attorney/. The roads can change in an instant, and if you don’t spot a hazard and react quickly enough, there could be disastrous consequences. Stay focused, look around you and use your mirrors. If you need to make a phone call, use an in-car hands-free system or pull over in a safe place.  

 

Image source: http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/15865

 

Driving tired

When you’re tired, it can take you longer to react, and you may find it more difficult to concentrate. If you’re on a motorcycle or you’re behind the wheel of a car, tiredness can kill. There’s a risk of being unable to react rapidly, and you could even fall asleep. If you are tired, postpone your journey. If this isn’t an option and you have to drive, have a strong coffee and take a break if you start to feel drowsy. If you stop at a service station, you can stretch your legs, get some fresh air and even nap for 20 minutes. You’ll find more useful information here https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/driver-safety/cmv-driving-tips-driver-fatigue.

 

Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/comapre/7478206746

 

Reckless driving

As a driver, whether you’re on a bike or you’re driving a car, a van or a truck, you should be fully aware of the rules of the road. You might think regulations are boring, but they’re there to keep people like you safe. If you’re reckless, you could injure yourself and your behavior could also impact others. Examples of reckless driving include tailgating, getting involved in road rage, running red lights and not looking when you stop, move off or change lane. Stick to the speed limit, give other drivers time and space and keep calm.

 

Image from https://pixabay.com/en/crash-test-collision-60-km-h-1620591/

 

If you’re a driver or a biker, it’s so important to give your safety a thought. It’s not always possible to avoid accidents, but you can do your bit to make the roads safer by being a good driver. Over 90 percent of accidents are caused by driver error. Next time you hit the roads, keep focused, look out for hazards and pay attention to speed limits. Be wary of difficult conditions and never drink and drive. Even if you feel fine, there’s every chance that alcohol will compromise your ability to drive. Have a rest if you feel tired and abide by the rules of the road. If you’re reckless, you drive too fast, or you’re busy trying to do two things at once, this could have horrific consequences for you and others around you.

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