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If you’re like most Americans, you get in your vehicle every day, whether it’s to go to work, the store, or to visit loved ones. Each time it all seems like a routine, almost as simple as tying one’s shoes. Today is just like every other day, and nothing out of the ordinary will happen, right? Well, that’s what most of us assume, anyways. It’s important to remember there is always more we can do, or not do, to avoid a car crash or collision caused on our end.

Although pandemic lockdown order kept many drivers off U.S. roads and highways last year, the National Safety Council estimates that 42,060 people died in vehicle crashes in 2020, an 8% increase from the previous year even with stay-at-home orders in place. No matter how big or small a car accident may seem, it can drastically change someone’s life. There are two main reasons for car accidents: driver error and everything else. It is important to note what are possible causes to do your best to avoid a car crash. 

Driver error that may cause car accidents

Distracted Driving 

One of the top reasons that cause car accidents from human error is distracted driving. Unfortunately, the brain isn’t capable of focusing on more than one task at a time.  This includes driving and texting, eating, reading, grooming, or talking on the phone.

Not paying attention to traffic lights or signs 

According to the Federal Highway Administration,  roughly one-quarter of traffic fatalities and about one-half of all traffic injuries in the United States are caused in intersections each year. It is important to be paying attention to traffic lights and signs. If not, the driver not paying attention is putting everyone on the road in danger. 

Aggressive and reckless driving 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), aggressive driving is when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”

Speeding 

There is a reason for speed limits, and that is to inform you of the safest speed to travel on that particular road. It is never a good idea to speed, even if it’s because you’re late to work, or it was unintentional. The faster a vehicle is going, the greater the impact when it collides with something. 

Fatigue

In 2017, the NTHSA estimated 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers, leading to an estimated 50,000 people injured and almost 800 deaths. It is best to stay away from the wheel if you are having a hard time keeping your eyes open.

Everything else that can cause a car crash

Weather conditions 

No matter what the weather conditions look like, either snow, rain, or ice, slippery roads affect traction in tires, causing vehicles to slide off the road or run the risk of hitting other objects or vehicles. Other forms of weather that may affect your driving abilities include fog, water levels, and wind speed. 

Vehicle defects 

We run the risk of driving a car to go haywire and malfunction. Although that’s out of the driver’s control, one thing that could be done is keep an eye out for recalls from the manufacturer and respond in a timely manner. 

Road Conditions 

When roads arent maintained, they increase the risk of a popped tire and prevent the driver from braking adequately. 

A few easy tips to help you avoid a car crash

Inspect your bulbs: When you get behind the wheel, it is your responsibility to guarantee other vehicles can see you on the road, and that they can anticipate when you’re about to stop, back up, or turn. Check your lights on a regular basis to make sure they are working and never drive when any of your bulbs are not working properly.

Check your tires: You should not wait until your vehicle starts bumping and rattling before you notice your tires are worn unevenly. Worn tires have a reduced grip on the road which makes them hazardous and may lead to a car crash. Attempt to rotate your tires and adjust alignment every time you get an oil change; this will increase fuel economy as well.

Pay attention to recalls: Don’t toss that factory recall notice on top of your junk mail pile. Many of us don’t take these recalls seriously and don’t want the inconvenience of having our vehicles in the shop. However, if a manufacturer has recalled a part, it is usually because serious damage was caused to the life and property of other drivers. It is imperative that the recall is taken care of to avoid a potential tragedy.

Don’t ignore your check engine light: Pay attention to the check engine light when it comes on. The problem may be a quick fix like a loose gas cap or it could be a major issue causing havoc on your engine. Attempt the quick fixes on your own, if the light is still on after doing so, take your vehicle in to get serviced.

Don’t speed: Having a heavy foot puts you at greater risk of being involved in a crash. Traveling at the speed limit makes it easier for you to brake gradually instead of slamming on the brakes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 9,478 speed-related fatalities in 2019.

Use your signal lights: Your signals are there for a reason! Your turn signals are used to communicate with other drivers and pedestrians. Use your signal in advance to allow other drivers to slow down and avoid them rear-ending you. Pedestrians look for signals to avoid getting in your path.

Don’t put your life in the hands of other drivers: Just because a car is approaching a stop sign, does not mean they will actually stop. Signal lights are sometimes left on after we turn, therefore, if someone has a signal light on, it does not always mean they will be turning. Don’t make assumptions about what another driver is going to do next.

Always check your blind spots: Do not assume your mirror sees everything. Before changing lanes or making a turn, always check your blind spots. Take a quick peek yourself, even if your vehicle is equipped with blindspot detection. It won’t hurt you, it’ll only ever ensure your safety.

Stay alert and aware: One of the simplest and highly effective tips is always to know what is going on in front of you, behind you, and on both sides of your vehicle.

How The Carlson Law Firm can help

Although you can do everything in your power to avoid a car crash, accidents can unfortunately still happen. We care about your well-being here at the Carlson Law Firm and don’t want to see you injured. Our firm has been protecting the rights of injured victims for about 45 years. If you have been involved in an auto collision, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation. We will be by your side, every step of the way.

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