Did you know that more than two million Americans are injured in car accidents every year? Whether you’re going on a cross-country adventure or just driving around the corner to get groceries, there are certain things you should do to ensure your journey is as safe as possible. Here are some basic safety tips that will help reduce your likelihood of being in an accident:
Always keep your attention on the road.
According to the CDC, distracted driving is responsible for more than 1,000 injuries every day. Distracted driving can be visual (taking your eyes of the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking your mind off driving). As tempting as it may be to quickly check your phone and see who that text message was from, there’s no reason to compromise your safety or the safety of others for something that could easily wait until you’re safely parked.
Never drive under the influence.
When you drink and drive, you are endangering the lives of yourself, your passengers, and every other driver on the road. Not to mention you risk losing thousands of dollars in fines and potential jail time. If you know you’re going to be drinking, be sure to enlist a friend as your designated driver or use a cab or ride share. You can always retrieve your car later, but the damage you could do when you drink and drive is often the type that can’t be undone.
Buckle your seatbelt and check your mirrors before putting the car in gear.
You should do these two things before you even turn your car on. These safety measures only take a second of your time and could save your life one day.
Avoid driving when you are tired.
Driving while tired, or “drowsy driving” is equally as risky as drunk driving, and even more dangerous when you consider its prevalence. A 2005 study showed that 37% of drivers have admitted to dozing off behind the wheel. As with distracted driving, a moment of inattention as you start to nod off can cause irreparable damage to yourself or others. If you’re starting to get drowsy while behind the wheel, it’s always advisable to pull over at a rest stop instead of “soldiering on” and potentially falling asleep while on the road.
Use caution when switching lanes.
Check your rear- and side-view mirrors, use your turn signal, and always look over your shoulder to double check your blind spot when merging lanes.
Take breaks as needed.
If you’re driving a long distance, don’t go more than two hours without taking a short break. Even if you don’t feel tired, pull over at a rest stop, take a quick walk, and grab a small snack. It seems simple, but it will do wonders for keeping you awake and alert.
Medical bills can pile up following a car wreck, and they often exceed the coverage of the at-fault driver. When combined with lost income due to time off from work, a car accident can become a huge financial burden on your family. Having a strong and knowledgeable advocate can go a long way towards helping you secure a recovery and try to get your life back on track as quickly as possible.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, help is available from Stewart Law Offices. Our personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to secure the compensation you need and deserve after a car wreck. If you live in North or South Carolina, contact us online or give us a call at 866-783-9278.