Car accidents are unfortunately prevalent in the United States. Over 36,000 people died in car crashes in 2019 alone.
Many people believe that car accidents are more common in population-dense areas due to the amount of traffic on the road. This has led them to think that the risk of accidents is outside their control. Yet, paradoxically, car accident deaths per capita are higher in rural states like Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico than in more urban states like Massachusetts and New York.
There are a lot of things that you can do to minimize your risk of getting in a car accident. You must do everything possible to prevent them for your safety, as well as that of your passengers and other people on the road. If you end up in an accident, you can always visit a clinic for assistance. Laura Hochstein, the co-owner of the accident injury clinic in North Miami Beach, has emphasized the importance of getting prompt treatment.
“Injuries can take days to be discovered and weeks or months to heal. You will shorten the recovery time if you get professional treatment as soon as possible, so never delay seeing a doctor after a car accident!”
However, it is best to avoid accidents in the first place.
Some essential tips to reduce the risk of car accidents are listed below.
Continue following the rules of the road in private parking lots.
You might be surprised to hear that 20% of car accidents take place in parking lots. You have to be careful in parking lots just like you would anywhere else when driving.
You probably learned in Driver’s Ed that you were not required to follow all of the same rules in a parking lot. You don’t legally need to use your turn signals. You also don’t have to stop at stop signs in private parking lots.
However, you should continue following these rules anyways. You will significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll end up in an accident.
Drive with the three-second rather than the two-second rule.
When you were in Driver’s Ed, you were probably told that you should maintain a two-second
stopping distance between yourself and the car ahead of you. Travelers Insurance has stated that this rule is not sufficient.
Instead, you should maintain at least a three-second distance between yourself and other vehicles. You should consider giving an even greater distance if the situation warrants it, such as if there is a lot of snow on the road or you are driving a large vehicle. You want to give yourself enough time to stop, so you don’t collide with the car ahead of you.
Don’t get careless just because nobody else is on the road.
There are fewer car accidents on major highways than less busy roads. This might be surprising for many people to hear. However, it makes sense because people are a lot more alert when there are a lot of other cars on the road. On the other hand, people start being more careless when they think there is a low risk of getting in an accident.
You don’t want to start getting careless on the road. However, the fact that nobody else is on the road at the time doesn’t mean it is safe to let your guard down. You can’t start reading text messages, toying around with the radio or trying to eat while driving.
Drive to minimize the need to use your brakes.
Ideally, you want to use your brakes as little as possible. You will obviously be putting more wear and tear on them if you break more frequently or brake harder. However, you will also increase your risk of getting in an accident, especially if other vehicles are following you too closely.
Here are some tips to minimize the need to apply your brakes:
- If you plan to stop to make a turn, you’ll want to coast a little first. This will help you slow down, so you don’t have to apply your brakes suddenly before your turn.
- You can also lightly tap your brakes to slow down in advance.
- Avoid accelerating unnecessarily if you will be stopping within a few minutes. It doesn’t make any sense to speed up and then stop later. It is not an efficient use of your gas. It will also significantly increase the risk of an accident.
Your chances of being in an accident will decrease significantly if you don’t use your brakes more than necessary.
Look out for drivers that might not be following the rules at the intersection.
Your first instinct is probably to start driving right away after a traffic light turns green. However, you should always look for cars coming in any lanes you’ll be turning into. Other vehicles might have tried rushing through a yellow light. You don’t want to spend too long stopping at a green light and annoy the other drivers. However, you should at least wait for a second or so for the intersection to clear.