Did you know that over 30,000 lives are lost every year on US roads? Road accidents are the leading cause of death among healthy Americans. The statistics make for alarming reading, but there are ways you can avoid trouble on the roads. If you drive on a regular basis, here are some steps to help you steer clear of injuries.
Don’t drink and drive
The CDC estimates that around 10,000 deaths are linked to drink driving every year. If you drink, you pose a risk not only to your own safety, but to that of your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. It doesn’t matter if you feel fine. The reality is that alcohol impacts and impairs your ability to drive. When you’ve had a drink, it takes longer to react to hazards, and it’s more difficult to concentrate and focus. Studies also suggest that drinking alcohol can also increase the chances of taking risks and affect your judgment. If you want to drink, arrange a lift home in advance or book a cab. If you take the risk and get behind the wheel, you could injure or even kill yourself or other people, and you may also face severe penalties for breaking the law.
Pay attention to the road
In this day and age, it seems that we are more easily distracted than ever before. If you walk down the pavement, you’ll often see people glued to their phones or plugged into devices that play music while they try and navigate busy crossings, crowded stations or packed stores. When you’re driving, you should maintain focus at all times. The landscape around you can change in a split second, hazards can appear from nowhere, and you may need to brake urgently. If you’re texting or looking at your sat nav screen, you might not be able to react fast enough, and the risk of a car accident increases. If you’re not concentrating, and you hit another driver, you would have to assume responsibility for that crash. If you need to make a call or send a text or email, don’t do it while you’re driving. Pull over in a safe place, do what you need to do, and then get back on the road.
Wear a seat belt
More than 9,000 deaths occur in the US each year as a result of failing to use seat belts and child seats. It takes a second to put a belt on, and it could save your life. If you’re traveling with passengers, always make sure everybody in the car has their belt on. If you have children, invest in a good-quality car seat, install it properly, and make sure your child is secure in their seat before you set off.
Drive to the speed limit
Speeding is one of the most common causes of fatal car crashes. Always make sure you drive according to speed restrictions.
It’s very easy to assume that accidents only happen to other people. The sad reality is that crashes are very common. If you’re eager to avoid trouble, take these tips on board and remember that you have a responsibility to protect others, as well as yourself, when you take that wheel in your hands.