According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 42,000 traffic fatalities in 2021, a 10.5 percent increase over 2020. To be fair, 2020 traffic was down overall due to the pandemic, but still, this number is higher than any other year. Some of these accidents are caused by vehicles that are too dangerous to be on the road.
If you have an older car that is getting harder and harder to maintain, then it might be time to look into a newer vehicle. You can find a large selection of newer vehicles at places like a public auto auction in Dallas. A newer vehicle goes a long way toward helping you avoid car accidents on the road.
Here are some additional tips for avoiding accidents while driving
Every car needs maintenance, and that includes the tires. A set of tires with worn tread makes it hard to stop because it cannot grip the road. Additionally, if your brakes are worn, they cannot stop the vehicle. You should regularly check your brakes, especially if they don’t feel right to you or are making a lot of noise when you press down on the brake pedal.
While brakes are important, it’s equally important that you maintain the proper distance between cars while driving. The recommended distance between you and the car in front of you is three seconds at a minimum. You can use shadows or road signs to count the seconds between the cars.
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If you are less than three seconds apart then slow down and increase your distance for safety. If the road or weather conditions are bad, then add more time to your distance.
Have a Plan
When driving, proactive drivers do what they can to plan for anything in front of them. While you cannot plan for everything, you can be cognizant of what is happening all around you and take precautions.
Look beyond the car in front of you for hazards like cars stopped on the highway or upcoming stop lights. Be aware of motorcycles and bicycles on the road.
Most states have laws against texting and driving, yet many people still do this. Other distractions could include using the radio, making phone calls, kids or pets inside the car, and even passengers. If you can minimize distractions then you can pay more attention to the road.
The most common accident is a rear-end collision, which can be caused by distracted drivers. It only takes a single second for something to happen, so even glancing at your phone can quickly reduce your ability to stop.
Driving Under the Influence
Do not drink and drive. Likewise, if you are using any type of mind- or body-altering drug, even prescription drugs, do not get behind the wheel of your car. The 2021 statistics indicate that 30 percent of accidents with fatalities were caused by drunk drivers.
While illegal drugs cause a large percentage of accidents, prescription drugs can also cause people to become drowsy or slow their reaction time down.
Slow down construction zones, as well as for poor road conditions. When the roads are wet, icy, or snowy, slow down and give yourself a lot of room between the cars, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. If you are running late, do not make up for it by speeding in and out of traffic.
You will just use up more gas racing to the next stop light. Consider other drivers as part of the road conditions, and always drive with courtesy to your fellow travelers. If you see a road rage incident, get as much information as you can to give to the authorities, but stay away from the cars and the people involved. Road rage incidents can become deadly.
The second and third most common accidents are the T-bone and the sideswipe collisions respectively. Both of these accidents can be caused by a lack of signaling or improper lane changes. Always make sure that your turn signal lamps are working, and always use them when turning.
Never make another driver guess where or if you will be turning, and make sure it’s off while traveling down the road. Do not run red lights or stop signs; these are the leading causes of T-bone accidents. Obey the speed limits, especially in neighborhoods where there are cars backing out of driveways and kids playing in the road.
If you need a brush-up course on driving safety, your local Department of Motor Vehicles may have more information online. There are also driver’s classes that you can take to hone your skills. If you are older, then it’s a good idea to take a refresher course about the rules of the road. Older drivers in some states might be required to take a refresher course.
You might even get a break on your auto insurance for doing so. It’s not hard to avoid accidents while driving if you take your time and drive proactively. It also helps to keep your vehicle in proper condition and own a newer vehicle.