Everyone knows that there is risk on the road. Getting into road accidents proves consistently the most common source of accidental death. That said, there are still a lot of drivers who don’t take that risk as seriously as they should. There may be no way to completely ensure that you’re not involved in an accident. However, with the following tips you can at least lower the likelihood. You can also ensure that an accident doesn’t cost you more than it should.
One of the most common reasons for accidents as well as road arrests. Even for those who realise the danger, there are many who still drive despite the fact that their judgements and reactions are impaired. Either by alcohol or drugs. Contrary to popular belief, it only takes a single alcoholic drink to start having an effect on your reactions and judgement. If you’re a young person or drive a motorcycle, you’re at even higher risk of getting involved in a crash. Before drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or plans to get a taxi. Don’t let your friends drive when under the influence. If you’re hosting a party that provides alcohol, be responsible for the people attending to help them get home safe.
It’s not just alcohol and drugs that can impair your driving, either. In other cases, it might be the completely natural element of tiredness that can do it. Falling asleep at the wheel is significantly dangerous. It’s estimated there are at least 100,000 crashes a year caused by drowsiness at the wheel. Sometimes, getting adequate sleep before a drive isn’t always possible, though it is advisable. If you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel, it’s time to get off the road. Find a safe place to park and take a nap if you need to. If you think you’re at risk of starting to get drowsy, a caffeinated drink can be enough to help you safely get to your destination.
The third major cause of losing focus on the road is one that often caused by our own actions while driving or the actions of those in the car alongside us. Distraction during driving means taking your focus off the road, which means you don’t have the time to react when danger rears its head. Even if you’re parked, you still need to be ready to react to things that happen on the road. Under no circumstances should you use your mobile, start to eat or apply cosmetics in the driver’s seat, even when parked. Similarly, you should try to make sure distraction from your passengers is as minimal as it can be. Make sure they understand the importance of your focus on the road.
The road itself
It’s not just the drivers of cars, but the roads themselves that can cause problems for you when driving. Poor road conditions, potholes and the like, can cause you to lose control of your car. Being caught off guard by them can put you in a very dangerous position. Poor road conditions are unfortunately common. As are cases where signs have fallen or are invisible due to overgrown foliage. Inadequate guardrails can also be a serious health hazard. Even the most careful drivers can be put in a bad situation due to circumstances like these. The road itself can easily cause you to get in an accident. In those cases, it is the responsibility of the body that is responsible for looking after those roads.
Another aspect that can seriously impact your ability to drive well on the road is the weather. Wet, slippery or frozen roads make it a lot easier for you to lose control of your car. If you have the opportunity, you need to take precautions to make sure that your car is ready to go out in those kind of weather conditions. For example, in the rain, you should ensure your headlights are working and your windshield wipers are effective. In the winter, you should change tires to better grip onto the road. Whatever way the weather is impairing your ability to drive it can also help to drive a bit slower than usual. This reduces your chances of losing control.
Your car’s condition
Besides the weather or the road, there are other things that can cause you to lose control of your car. The vehicle itself can be just as much of a contributing factor. Particularly if certain parts of it are malfunctioning. We’ve already covered that poor windshield wipers and broken headlights can be a problem. There are a lot of other issues, such as worn brake pads and leaking brake fluid, that can reduce your ability to react to issues on the road. Take care of the basic car maintenance and make sure that you’re able to recognise the warning signs that could make your vehicle unsafe to drive. Otherwise, you may very well be liable for any road accident you get into.
Of course, it’s not always you who loses control of your car. Each car on the road proves a potential hazard that becomes real when someone else falls to one of the risks mentioned above. Being wary of other cars is a sensible approach, but sometimes not enough. If another driver gets you involved in an accident, you need to have plans on how to deal with it. First, you need to report it to the police and your insurance company. Then get the other driver’s details and those of any witnesses. Immediately collect what photographic evidence of the scene you can. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should pursue compensation to make sure you’re not responsible for the costs.
We hope this tips above help you to be more conscious of the dangers on the road and how to more safely navigate them. The moment you start to forget about those risks and where they might come from, that’s when you’re at most risk.