While most solutions for avoiding automobile accidents may seem like common sense, the truth is these tragedies continue to happen. Most people know what they should and shouldn’t do when it comes to driving, but most of us are guilty of breaking these rules at least once in our lives. This is why it might be a good resolution for the new year to focus on changing your behavior behind the wheel for the better. Here are 5 things to keep in mind to prevent an accident next time you get behind the wheel.
1. Don’t drink and drive
Everyone has heard this at some point, but this continues to be the most important thing you can do to prevent an unnecessary accident. It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to alcohol and automobiles. If you are in doubt about whether you have had too much to drink, you probably have. If you are planning to drink, make a plan for how you are going to get home ahead of time. This could be specifying a designated driver among your friends or splitting cab faire. Either way, alcohol induced accidents and fatalities can be prevented. Also remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
2. Be aware of pedestrians
With increasing reports of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in the valley this past year, this is something we can all commit to. Both pedestrians and bicyclist have the same rights to use the roads as drivers, and should be treated with the same caution and respect we afford to other drivers. Make sure to always look over your shoulder before switching lanes as there could potentially be a bicyclist in your blind spot. Always stop at designated crossing areas, even if you are in doubt as to whether you have the right-of-way. Courtesy and safety are key when it comes to pedestrian and bike traffic, using caution could save a life.
3. Put your phone down
This is another piece of advice that we have all heard at one point or another, but continues to be a serious issue. Fatalities as a result of cell phone use, texting in particular, are unnecessary and can absolutely be prevented. Put your phone in the trunk or back seat, buy a hands free system, pull over or configure your phone to the bluetooth system in your car. There are also apps that can prevent use of a cell phone while in a moving vehicle if you can’t resist the urge. Whatever you need to do, make sure you aren’t using your phone while driving.
4. Wear your seatbelt
Another piece of advice we have heard over and over. This is your number one defense in the case of an accident, and should be used diligently. Even if you are just going around the corner or down the street, always wear your seatbelt. This may seem like common sense, but many auto fatalities occur simply because drivers and passenger were not wearing their seat belts. Make a habit of wearing yours and refusing to drive until all passengers are wearing theirs, it could just save your life.
5. Obey the speed limit
Speed limits are made and enforced to protect you. They are not arbitrary numbers intended to make you late for work. These are carefully researched numbers which pertain to each individual road with many factors being incorporated. If you find yourself constantly speeding, try leaving a few minutes early for your destination. As speed increases, so does the force of impact in the case of an accident. Also, as speed increases, seat belts become less effective at protecting occupants.
These are just a few of the things every driver should strive for behind the wheel. If you have been in an accident and find yourself in need of a Las Vegas auto accident attorney, call the law office of Laura Hunt at (702) 450-4868 today.