Car accidents can be a terrifying experience that can result in severe injuries and even death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death globally, with 1.35 million deaths per year. However, many of these accidents can be prevented or reduced in severity with the proper safety measures. This article will provide drivers with some tips and techniques to help them stay safe on the road and reduce the severity of collisions.
Wear Your Seat Belt
The most crucial safety measure that drivers can take to reduce the severity of a car accident is to wear their seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seat belts saved over 14,955 lives in 2017 alone. Not only is wearing a seat belt the law, but it can also prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Maintaining your vehicle is another critical safety measure that drivers can take to reduce the severity of accidents. Regularly scheduled maintenance can help ensure that your brakes, tires, and other critical components are in good working condition. In addition, keeping your car clean can help improve visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives. Texting while driving, eating, and applying makeup are just a few examples of distracted driving. To stay safe on the road, drivers should avoid any activities that take their attention away from the road.
Follow Traffic Laws
Traffic laws exist to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Following traffic laws can help prevent accidents and reduce the severity of collisions. Drivers should always obey traffic signs and signals, and they should never speed. Speeding is a leading cause of accidents and can increase the severity of collisions.
Use Turn Signals
Using turn signals is another critical safety measure that drivers can take to reduce the severity of accidents. Turn signals indicate to other drivers where you are going and can help prevent accidents. Drivers should use their turn signals when changing lanes or turning, even if they do not see any other vehicles around.
Keep a Safe Distance
Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you is another critical safety measure. A safe following distance can help prevent rear-end collisions, which can cause severe injuries. The NHTSA recommends keeping at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and extremely dangerous. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, 28% of all traffic fatalities in the United States involved alcohol-impaired driving. Drivers should never get behind the wheel if they have been drinking or using drugs. Instead, they should use a designated driver or a rideshare service.
Avoid Driving at Night
Driving at night can be challenging, especially for inexperienced drivers. Reduced visibility, fatigue, and impaired drivers are just a few of the hazards that drivers may face at night. If possible, drivers should avoid driving at night or limit their driving to well-lit areas.
Defensive driving is a technique that drivers can use to reduce the risk of accidents. Defensive driving involves being aware of your surroundings, anticipating potential hazards, and taking action to avoid accidents. Drivers should always be prepared for the unexpected and should never assume that other drivers will follow traffic laws.
Finally, staying calm is another critical safety measure that drivers can take to reduce the severity.