Getting into a car accident is one of the most unpleasant experiences you can face. Not only does it ruin your day by adding in a stressful event, but it could leave you with a physical injury. Car accidents take both an emotional and physical toll, and that’s before you even get to the financial toll.
According to these Birmingham car accident lawyers “Not having a paycheck while you recover is difficult enough. Having multiple medical bills to pay only makes it worse. Expenses, such as doctors, physical therapy, medication, surgery, and hospital visits, can pile up very quickly. You might also have to pay for damage to your car, truck, or other personal property.”
While avoiding car accidents altogether is practically impossible if you insist on driving, there are some things you can do to lessen the odds of one happening. One thing you can do is know the most common causes of an accident, then take steps to make sure they don’t apply to you.
Poor Car Maintenance
First up, we have poor car maintenance. Too many drivers only pay attention to their car after a problem occurs. And while it may not be a big deal if your car doesn’t start in the morning, this isn’t the case if something goes wrong with your car while you’re driving. One minute you could be driving along, and the next thing you know a tire gives out, your brakes stop working, smoke rises from the car, or the wipers no longer work.
To avoid this, it’s important that you give your car regular checkups. Check to see if you need new tires. Figure out how long it’s been since you’ve gotten new brake pads. Examine your wipers before you drive. Use your nose to see if there are any odd odors coming from the car. Spending a few minutes every now and again to examine your car can go a long way towards keeping you on the road.
Driving While Impaired
The next major cause of car accidents is drivers who operate their vehicle under some form of impairment. While many associate this with drinking too much before driving, it could also mean driving when you haven’t had enough sleep, or are on some medications that make you drowsy. Before you get behind the wheel it’s important that you ask yourself if you’re okay to drive, and answer honestly. There are always other ways to get home, so if you’re unsure, don’t get behind the wheel. You can’t control if other people will follow this advice, but you can at least take care of yourself.
Driving in Bad Weather
Next, bad weather causes hundreds of accidents each year. One of the easiest and quickest things you can do before you drive is check the weather forecast. Is there a major storm on the way? Will you have to drive home in snow later? Too many people see bad weather in the forecast and try to drive anyway. If there’s any way you can avoid this, make other plans and stay off the road. You may have to wait a few hours for the storm to pass, but when you arrive at your destination safely, you’ll be glad you did.
Failure to Obey Rules of the Road
Finally, make sure you’re following all the rules of the road. We learn these rules when we first get our licenses, but many of us fall into bad habits over time. Maybe we go over the speed limit, or we don’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign near our home. These rules are in place for a reason however, so do your best to follow all of them as closely as you can. Again, this may make you run a little late, but you’ll also get there in one piece.
Keeping Yourself Safe and on the Road
Even if you follow all the advice above, that doesn’t mean others will, or that something can’t still go wrong. However, your goal should be to make yourself (and everyone else in your car) as safe as possible. The above advice will help you to do that and will hopefully keep you safe for a long time to come.
So the next time you’re about to get into your car, think about the list above. Make sure your car is in good condition, that you’re capable of driving, and that the weather is clear. Then, once you’re on the road, put in extra effort to closely follow all the laws in your area. These simple tips could just keep you out of an accident, and all the headaches that come with it.