The Lowdown on Car Accidents: How to Avoid Them and What to Do If You’re In a Crash
Listen to the Podcast:
Each year, thousands of people die due to car accidents or get injured in them, and many pedestrians get hurt due to such incidents, too. We all need to understand how we can stay safer on the roads, avoid accidents, and know what to do if the worst happens and we’re involved in one.
Here is the lowdown you need to know today to minimize the risks for you and the people (and potentially animals) around you.
Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Best Avoid Them?
Car accidents happen for a wide variety of reasons each year, but there are many commonalities between them. One cause that seems to have grown exponentially in recent years is driver distraction, particularly when people look away from the road to examine their smartphones for social media updates, text messages, calls, emails, etc.
Other distractions can include changing or putting on music, doing makeup while driving, or turning around to look at or talk to children or pets in the back seat. To avoid an accident, you must put your cell phone away when driving and avoid any other distractions that could cause you to lose focus and control.
Many accidents also occur because drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve been drinking too much alcohol or have imbibed any drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, or the like. All these substances impair judgment and can mean that you don’t make smart decisions when driving or are slow to react when needed.
Another reason many car crashes occur is that people are speeding or otherwise engaging in reckless driving. Protect yourself and others by sticking to the speed limit and watching out for changes in allowed speeds due to things like roadworks, detours, or accidents ahead.
Plus, don’t be reckless in how you drive and increase your risk of being involved in a crash due to undertaking cars, changing lanes very quickly, tailgating people, running red lights, or being aggressive. Also, don’t merge lanes without carefully looking for other vehicles or bikes nearby, give way as needed, and pay attention to road signs advising one-way streets.
Car accidents also regularly arise due to faulty vehicles, bad weather conditions, animal crossings, and other changes to driving conditions and roads.
Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle Safer
As you can see, you must always be alert to help yourself stay safe and avoid all the errors mentioned above. In addition, don’t neglect your vehicle. Maintain it carefully each year by servicing it, changing the oil, replacing tires when worn, and keeping tires pumped up.
Have potential faults addressed ASAP by a mechanic or vehicle service-and-repair dealer. Read the instruction manual that comes with cars to learn about the correct type of fuel to put in yours, and other steps to keep it adequately maintained and safe. You also need to pay attention to any news about faulty vehicle recalls so you know if you need to get your car checked or replaced.
What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident?
We all hope we never get involved in a road accident, but sadly these situations do occur. If you find yourself in this position, start by turning on your vehicle’s hazard lights, if they’re not affected by the crash, and check to see if everyone in the car and other vehicles or pedestrians, etc., are okay too.
Relocate your vehicle to safety if you can drive it by moving it to the shoulder of the road, onto the sidewalk, etc. Next, ring for an ambulance if anyone is hurt or there’s potential they are and don’t know it yet (some injuries don’t show up right away, especially brain injuries and internal bleeding). Call the police so they can inspect the accident site and speak with each driver, too.
Afterward, exchange details with other drivers and get the information of witnesses who may need to be called on later. Take pictures of your car, the other car(s) involved, and the accident scene, and file a report with the police if needed for insurance or other reasons. If you or a family member is hurt in the crash and it was another driver’s fault or another third party may be to blame, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer.
There are auto accident attorneys in Denver, Las Vegas, New York, Atlanta, Miami, and everywhere in between who can help you file a compensation claim. This may be particularly required if you have to lose a lot of work days due to injury or have health expenses that lead to costly medical bills.
Do your best to avoid being involved in a crash, and if you do get into a car accident, try not to panic. The clearer you are about how to move forward, the better for you and everyone around you.