The chance of being involved in a car crash is, unfortunately, greater than you might expect. Surveys by insurance companies indicate that three out of every four drivers on the road have been involved in an accident at least once in their driving careers. The average driver files an insurance claim for a collision approximately once every 18 years. In other words, the typical motorist will experience three or four accidents in the course of a lifetime.
No single driving strategy can guarantee that your own driving record will be free of accidents; no matter how careful you are, you can’t control other drivers’ behavior. But you can take a few simple steps to improve your own approach to safe driving that can greatly reduce your risk of becoming another statistic — and worse, incurring serious injuries. Here are three of them.
Slow down. Sounds boring, yes, but this step could also be known as “increase reaction time.” The most common form of collision comes from failing to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you. Going ten miles or more over the speed limit may be the norm for many impatient drivers, but it also seriously hinders your ability to react to sudden changes in traffic flow. For example, the extra braking distance needed when you’re going 40 miles an hour in a 30-mph zone amounts to about fifty feet — more than three car lengths. You can give yourself a break on speeding tickets, and greatly reduce your risk of slamming into the car ahead of you or failing to react in time to other unexpected obstacles, simply by dialing back the speed.
Anticipate the unexpected. One of the most important techniques taught in defensive driving courses is awareness of changing traffic conditions around you. Get into the habit of constantly scanning the road for potential threats, including distracted, impaired or aggressive drivers. Check side mirrors and the rearview every five to ten seconds, and look both directions entering intersections; just because you have the green light doesn’t mean some reckless scofflaw isn’t going to blow through a red light. Anticipating possible collisions and being prepared to avoid them can help you stay accident-free.
Make driving your priority. Resolve to be focused on driving when you’re on the road — rather than texting, eating, or some other activity that commands your attention. Minimize distractions by turning off that cell phone, setting your radio station or playlist in advance, and keeping your hands on the wheel. Distracted driving is on the rise across the country and now plays a significant role in thousands of fatal crashes — but it’s also a completely preventable situation.
THE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, bicycle, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 720-372-1162, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.