If you’ve done any long-distance traveling recently, you’ve probably noticed a large number of distracted drivers on the road. And you may have also noticed that even though there are clearly posted speed limits, often these are blatantly disregarded by many motorists.
Recent reports have shown that distracted driving amounts to around 400,000 driving injuries per year and roughly 3,000 deaths. And these are all injuries and fatalities that could be largely avoided.
It’s no secret that America is home to a fair amount of road accidents every year. But if you want to keep yourself safe, thankfully there are several safety tips that you can follow to help mitigate being involved in an auto collision.
Following road safety rules and adhering to state regulations are your first steps in keeping safe. And in the following post, we’ll outline additional safety practices that you should follow.
Before you even head out on the road, you need to be insured. Because if you’ve ever taken your car to the shop even for minor repairs, these costs pale in comparison to what you could be held liable for in the event of an automobile accident.
Currently, as of 2021, all but two of the 50 states require auto insurance of some kind. For example, New Hampshire doesn’t require auto insurance, but if you’re held liable in an accident and fail to pay for damages, your license will be suspended.
Additionally, Virginia doesn’t require auto insurance either, as long as you pay the state 500 dollars per year. But this doesn’t pay for any damages.
Having affordable, quality auto insurance is your best defense if you’re ever involved in an automobile accident, no matter where you’re driving in the United States.
Knowing the Signs of Distracted Driving
As mentioned, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents across the United States. And this has been heightened in recent years due to the prevalence of smartphones across the country.
Additionally, modern vehicles are also equipped with a large number of onboard technology that can be just as distracting such as navigation systems, 360-degree cameras, alert centers, and the like.
Knowing how to spot a distracted driver is your best defense when it comes to staying safe on the roads today. And a few of these signs are as follows:
- Abrupt or frequent swerving
- Wildly swerving
- Riding on the shoulder
- Grazing or bumping the median
- Frequently braking
- Not maintaining a consistent speed
- Visually seeing the driver’s head down
If you’re able to spot a distracted driver, the best thing to do is to allow as much distance between you and the distracted driver as possible. As such, staying far behind the driver is a best practice. Additionally, you should notify the authorities of this dangerous behavior as well when you’ve found a safe place to do so.
Driving in Inclement Weather
Another major cause for auto collisions across the country has to do with inclement weather. As such, rain, sleet, snow, and high winds can all affect driving conditions. And you need to be prepared if you must travel under these circumstances.
The key to staying safe in heavy rain and downpours is to slow your vehicle without using your brakes. Keeping your lights on and your wipers at a constant speed will help with visibility, but driving at a manageable pace is critical for safety. And if you must brake, do so by tapping, not by slamming on the brakes.
Finally, snow and ice present the worst threat on the roads. As such, it’s a best practice to avoid traveling in these conditions. But if you must, drive cautiously, keep your distance from other vehicles, and avoid high rates of speed.
Driving is a privilege, but unless you adhere to safety rules and regulations on the road, you or another motorist could be seriously injured in a collision. Remember, a little preventative measure is definitely worth arriving at your destination alive and unharmed.