Although cars are some of the most useful machines built by technology, but they can also be extremely dangerous. Car accidents are some of the leading causes of death in the United States.
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel estimated that over 38,000 Americans die because of car crashes in the country per annum. This means that over 12 people per 100,000 citizens risk dying from a car crash. Not every car crash leads to fatalities but over 4.4 million people receive serious injuries from vehicular accidents every year.
To stay safe on the road and avoid racking up an expensive medical bill, here are some best practices to keep in mind when you are operating a vehicle.
If you’ve been to a party and have had a couple of drinks, don’t risk it and drive. It’s the same behavior you’d want from other drivers; even though you could hire apersonal injury lawyerto help you file a claim if someone’s negligence leaves you hurt.
Even slight intoxication can be enough to cause an accident and hurt you or someone else. Although the common substances associated with driving under the influence are drugs and alcohol, other chemicals such as certain antihistamines can reduce your reaction times and even make you drowsy. If you feel your skills have been impaired by taking any substance, refrain from driving your vehicle.
Your car can develop all sorts of trouble on the road and even a quick patch up can mean the difference between careening uncontrollably across the road or making it to the nearest auto repair store. You should always carry a small but well-stocked tool kit in the back of your car.
Essential car equipment includes flashlights in case you get car trouble in the dark, a car jack to help replace a flat tire, jumper cables to help restart your battery and a spare tire so you can avoid getting stranded or skidding due to a burst tire. Keep these tools in your car at all times and check the air pressure on your spare tire to ensure you have reliable replacements and equipment in case of car troubles.
Although driving can largely be a transferable skill, there are vast differences between different models of vehicles. Don’t assume that just because you can drive your car you can get behind the wheel of another car.
For example, you could be extremely familiar with how your Honda civic works and how it handles on the road but you could be completely at sea when it comes to maneuvering high profile vehicles like Hummers. Not only can the transmission and controls on these cars be very different from what you’re used to, their added weight and height means they will behave very differently out in the open road.
Unless you have some practice driving a new type of vehicle, either find an alternative means of transport or drive very slowly.
Adverse weather events such as heavy rain, sudden snowstorms and intense wind can lead to accidents as surely as driving drunk. The odds of getting into an accident are even higher if you don’t adequately outfit your vehicle with the appropriate equipment.
Unless the weather suddenly turns, you may have plenty of time to swap parts of your car for ones that are better suited at handling the weather.
For example, snow tires are a must-have during winter since they give your car better traction on winter-slick streets. Make sure you have equipment and parts suitable to the weather of your community so you aren’t caught unprepared and get into an incident.
Headlights are some of the most important parts of your car, and they can be very useful in avoiding accidents. Without powerful headlights, you may not be able to spot obstructions in time or see pedestrians. They can be lifesavers, so long as you use them judiciously. High beam headlights refer to headlights that are pointed at an elevated angle.
Unlike regular headlights that are angled downward, high beams often encompass areas at eye level of pedestrians and drivers. Studies have shown that the use of high beams can negatively impact road safety. Be very careful when using your car’s high beams to avoid causing a collision.
Driving is one of life’s best experiences, but it does have risks. Following these tips can help you reduce the chances of hurting yourself and others.