When you get behind the wheel of your car, it’s likely that the last thing on your mind is the possibility of getting into a car accident. Instead, you’re likely preoccupied with getting to where you need to be or accomplishing basic tasks of the day.
However, the chances of getting hurt in a collision aren’t as slim as you might think they are. Hundreds of accidents occur every day, and the potential injuries you could sustain range from mildly frustrating to severe and life-changing.
Luckily, you aren’t helpless in this situation. There are steps and preventative actions you can take to decrease your chances of getting into a crash. To get started incorporating safer driving habits into your routine, consult the guide of helpful tips below.
Ways You Can Decrease the Chances of Getting Into a Car Crash
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Chances are, all the information, tips, tricks, and rules you learned in driver’s ed have all but left your head. It can be difficult to retain all this information, especially after years have passed since your last class. But driver’s ed classes offer extensive information and tips, all of which can prove invaluable in a dangerous road situation.
Defensive driving classes are available to individuals of all ages and driving levels. These courses will teach you how to be safer on the roads and anticipate potential problems, so you can avoid a crash. Even better than that is the discount you’ll likely receive on your car insurance policy upon completion of the class.
Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can have disastrous consequences. This puts you at risk of a broad range of accidents, from running a stop sign to merging into another lane without warning or even slamming into a stopped car in front of you.
The best way to ensure your eyes remain on the road at all times is to minimize distractions as much as possible. This includes your phone, GPS system, other passengers, and basic necessities like eating or drinking.
Whenever you need to get behind the wheel, make sure all these factors are accounted for before you even take the car out of “park.” For example, read any unopened text messages and respond if needed. Program your GPS to route your trip. Make sure every passenger has everything they’ll need. Ensure all passengers have had a chance to use the restroom, and that everyone has had something to eat or drink if needed. If any of these needs have not been met, you shouldn’t leave until they are taken care of.
Don’t Get Behind the Wheel Unless You’re Sharp
Minimizing distractions is a great start, but if your cognitive functions aren’t operating at 100 percent, you’re still at risk of getting into a crash. As such, you should only ever get behind the wheel when you’re completely awake and focused.
If you’re feeling sleepy, try to put off driving until you’ve had a chance to rest. If you get tired while you’re already behind the wheel, switch with a passenger or find a safe place to stop and sleep.
Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. If you’ve consumed alcohol, find an alternate way home, such as a rideshare service, like Uber, or through public transportation.
What to Do if You’re in an Accident
Sometimes, accidents still occur, even if you take every precaution necessary. If this happens to you, you’ll want to seek a personal injury attorney in Utah to help you file a claim against the liable party.