The road is fraught with risk. Most drivers don’t need to be told that. The largest cause of accidental death is, far and away, due to road accidents. It’s the nature of what driving is. At those high speeds, any accident can be fatal. Those that aren’t will still cost you a lot of money and potentially discomfort or pain, too. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. These are the ways you might end up in traffic accidents and how you might be able to avoid them.
A constant danger in the wrong seasons, the weather can make the road a dangerous place to be. Whether it’s turbulent winds that fight you for control of your car or rain that slicks the road and makes it harder to see. There are certain ways to prepare for what the season throws at you. Mostly, cars have developed to be better able to handle the dangers of driving in the winter. The next time the weather turns, make sure that your car is fully equipped to take it on. In heavy rain, this might mean high beams to see through. In the winter, tires that give you the traction you need.
Similar to the weather you’re driving under is how well you handle driving at night. Just like driving in heavy, it lessens your ability to clearly see certain things on the road. For example, we all know how important it is we use our headlights and our flood lights when necessary. But you also need to make sure they’re positioned normally. Some headlights may, as a default, be aimed lower than they need to be. Take the time to make sure they’re properly aimed before you go out for your next drive at night. Similarly, how you’re able to take in light and see in the darkness matters. So dim any lights you may have inside the car.
It’s not just the weather that might affect the smoothness of your drive. The road itself, whether it’s the conditions or the layout, can prove a danger. This might be a case of bad planning on the city or county’s part. It might be damage that’s done to the road. For example, potholes can cause serious damage to the car and take control from you on the road. Dangerous embankments and inefficient highway entry and exits are more problems. They can reduce the amount of time you have to react to dangers on the road and provide serious risk. When you’re driving on new roads or in unfamiliar places, drive slower and more carefully than normal. If it’s in your area, then get involved in trying to get those roads updated.
Driving under the influence
The truth is that the majority of road accidents are caused by human error. Of those, the most common risk to any driver and others on the road is those driving under the influence. This can be of alcohol or drugs, whether illegal or prescription. https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-driving-under-influence states that it’s not the kind of alcohol that matters. Rather, it’s the amount consumed over a certain period of time. So those who think that just a few beers can’t impair them that much is wrong. In fact, even drinking within the allowed limit can result in slower reactions. As we’ve mentioned, reduced reaction time is a major concern in what leads to road accidents.
Distraction and loss of focus
Keeping your mind and your eye on the road is a crucial point of being able to drive safe. Even on drives that seem peaceful and relatively without risk, you never know when that risk might make itself clear. Without having your mind and your eyes on the road, you may be unable to react. One of the biggest concerns in losing that focus is other passengers. If you’re driving with others, then make sure they respect your need to be paying your full attention to the road. Another common loss of focus is those who have to drive often while tired. We know it can’t always be avoided, but it should be as much as possible.
More than the driver and the road, the kind of vehicles on the road can pose a rise in and of themselves. One of the biggest examples of this is when you’re dealing with a truck on the road. When you’re driving, be extra wary of when there’s a truck behind or in front of you. Maintain more of a distance than you would normally. Reconsider when you see the opportunity to pass them on the fast lane. http://thehartmanlawfirm.com/truck-accidents/ states that there are many dangers of trucks on the road. For example, one of the leading causes is related to the last point. Truck drivers tend to take long journeys and are at more danger of fatigue or drowsiness on the road. Add the lesser degree of control they have on the momentum of their vehicle. It becomes clear how trucks in particular can be so risky.
Motorcycles, like trucks, prove more of a risk on the road. More to the bike rider than to those in the cars around them. A big part of that risk is due to how motorcycles are actually harder to account for on the road. Because of their size, it’s easy for car drivers to not notice them fully or take them as seriously as they would any car. However, that attitude can only lead to a heightened risk of an accident involving them. Remember that motorcyclists have as much right and need for safety and respect on the road.
Regardless of what kind of vehicle you or other drivers are using, they are not perfect. In fact, all vehicles are prone to malfunction at some point. Particularly if they haven’t had the proper care taken of them. It might be braking problems that results in losing control of your car. It might be that your car has broken down. In the latter situation, it’s always best to have high visibility equipment to mark you and your car. Particularly at nighttime when other drivers might not be able to see you clear enough to react without them. More importantly, you need to make sure that you stick to your maintenance logs without fail. That and be more aware of the warning signs that your car is at risk.
There are a lot of different reckless driving behaviors that we will be covering in the next point. In this one, however, we’re going to be talking solely about speeding. We have mentioned before that reaction time on the road is crucial. Having that extra second or half a second can really make a difference in avoiding a disaster. Roads and speed limits are designed with giving drivers enough of that reaction time in mind. Breaking that limit is putting yourself at unnecessary risk. It also causes more damage. Even if the accident is unavoidable, lower speeds can be what saves you. After all, the speed of the vehicle contributes in large part to the force involved in any accident.
Besides speeding, there are a lot of careless driving habits that drivers tend to take on the road with them. One of the biggest is how you navigate the traffic around you. For example, refusing to yield of right of way. Not only is this particularly rude, but if someone is as stubborn as you, it is likely to lead to a collision. Similarly, neglecting to use your indicator lights when making a turn can easily lead to a ding. Another factor that requires more caution is how we handle ourselves at stop lights. http://lerablog.org/general/bad-driving-habits-to-get-rid-of/ mentions the danger of yellow lights. That it’s instinctive to start putting your foot on the gas when you see one. However, speeding through it may block traffic at an intersection or get you in an accident.
The others on the road
We’ve mentioned the danger that other drivers on the road may cause. From truck drivers to those jockeying to get out before you. It always pays to be a lot more wary of the other cars on the road. There might not be a lot of room for it, but how the driver drives and acts can communicate important information to you. There are a lot of factors that might show you that they’re more likely to drive recklessly. For example, teenage or inexperienced drivers are more likely to get into accidents. For another example, if you see a driver getting frustrated. If someone is having an episode of road rage, it’s not only unpleasant, it makes them more likely to cause an accident, too.
We hope this article has helped you. We understand that no-one can see the future and see an accident coming. In all likelihood, you will be involved in a road accident at some time in your life. However, with the advice above, perhaps you can avoid the worst case scenarios.