The vast majority of motor vehicle accidents that occur in the U.S. are due to human error. While accident rates have been declining, they are still staggeringly high, mostly due to simple mistakes people make while driving. Fortunately, there are many things drivers can do to minimize the risk of being injured in an accident while on the road.
- Keep everyone belted in: An alarmingly high rate of fatalities in car crashes occur because the person involved was not wearing a seat belt. If you have kids, make sure they are belted in. This will protect them as well as keep them from distracting you as much.
- Avoid drunk driving: Nearly a third of all vehicle accidents occur because of drunk driving. Even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit, it can still affect your driving. If you know that you will be drinking, take a taxi or arrange for someone else to drive you home.
- Get plenty of sleep: Nearly as dangerous as driving drunk is driving drowsy. Lack of adequate sleep can result in reduced reaction time, difficulty making decisions, and lapses into unconsciousness, which can occur without warning.
- Keep the speed limit: For every mile per hour you drive, you increase your risk of an accident by as much as five percent. Thus, driving five miles over increases your likelihood of a collision by 25%. If you have to be somewhere at a specific time, it is better to leave early than to rush on the road.
- Cut out distractions: Phones, noisy passengers, food, putting on makeup, and myriad other things can take your attention from the road and reduce your reaction time.
- Take extra care in bad weather: Weather conditions such as snow or rain change the way your vehicle’s tires interact with the road, making it harder to stop or turn quickly. Fog, snow, rain, and other conditions can also reduce visibility, so it is crucial to be extra vigilant in such conditions.
- Maintain a safe distance: It takes time to stop, and if the car ahead of you stops suddenly, you need space to react. Usually, it is recommended that you stay three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you—double in bad weather.
- Watch for unsafe drivers: As safe a driver as you might be, there is still a risk that someone else could cause an accident. Always watch for the unexpected, because sooner or later, someone will do something reckless and threaten everyone else on the road.
- Be patient: Even though other drivers may not be as careful as they ought to be (or may even be outright rude), it doesn’t give you license to react angrily. At all times, it is best to remain calm while driving and avoid giving in to aggressive urges.
No driver is perfect, but applying these tips will make driving a much safer experience. In addition, state-of-the-art technologies can help reduce the risks posed by human error while on the road. At Safe Drive Systems, we specialize in technology that helps prevent accidents from occurring. For more information, contact us!