A car accident can completely change life as you know it. Severe injuries can leave you with long-term pain and suffering as well as limited mobility, and the financial implications of extensive medical care and rehabilitation can be catastrophic.
Making matters worse is your inability to work, meaning that your household income can be drastically slashed.
As scary as that may sound, there are ways that you can try to protect yourself out on the road. While implementing defensive driving practices may not protect you 100%, they can go a long way toward reducing your risk.
What can you do to avoid a serious accident?
There’s not one answer here. Instead, you’ll want to utilize as many of the following tips as possible:
- Keep an appropriate distance: A lot of serious injuries are suffered in rear-end collisions. You can reduce your risk of being involved in one of these accidents by giving yourself enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. By allowing three to four seconds of distance, you better ensure that you’ll have the space and time necessary to appropriately react and slow or stop to avoid a collision.
- Avoid distractions: This almost goes without saying, but you should avoid all distractions when you’re behind the wheel. This includes putting your cellphone away, waiting to eat until you get home, and refraining from reaching for objects within the cabin of the vehicle. By remaining alert, you can ensure that your response time is as quick as possible.
- Get good sleep prior to driving: Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Therefore, you should try to get an appropriate amount of sleep before you take to the road. If you find yourself feeling sleepy when driving, then it might be time to pull over and take a break.
- Obey the speed limit: Speeding is a major contributing factor to many severe car accidents. By reducing your speed, you decrease the amount of time that you need to bring your vehicle to a stop, and you increase the amount of time that you’ll have to react to changing traffic conditions.
- Maintain your vehicle appropriately: Car maintenance can have a tremendous impact on your vehicle’s roadway safety. So, be sure to have your tires regularly checked, rotated, and changed, and have other key components like your brakes routinely inspected.
- Let someone else drive: If you’re impaired in any fashion, then you should avoid driving at all costs. Instead, you should have someone else drive your vehicle, or you may want to hire a rideshare company to take you to your destination.
- Wear your seatbelt: Although we hope that implementing defensive driving practices will allow you to avoid an accident, there may come a time where your best efforts still can’t fend off a negligent driver. In these instances, though, your harm might be significantly reduced if you’re wearing your seatbelt. So, make sure you buckle up before leaving the driveway.
What if you’re injured in a wreck?
If you end up injured after a car accident, then you’ll want to analyze the facts to see if they show that the other driver’s negligence caused your crash. If so, then you’ll be justified in taking legal action against them. Winning your case could lead to the recovery of a significant amount of compensation, which is why you’ll want to be as prepared as possible heading into your case.