With the number of vehicles on the road today, it’s not too surprising that there are so many car accidents. Every year, more than 40,000 people lose their life in one of these crashes. In fact, car accidents are the number one cause of death of Americans between the ages of 3 and 34.
Some accidents are caused by circumstances beyond our control. Poor weather conditions, car defects, and other irresponsible drivers can cause horrific and deadly accidents—even when other drivers around them are acting responsibly and paying attention. However, there are always things we can do to reduce our likelihood of being involved in a car accident. Here are the top ten ways you can stay safe on the road:
Top 10 Tips for Avoiding Denver Car Crashes
- Never Operate a Vehicle While Intoxicated. Alcohol slows your response time and contributes to nearly one-third of all accidents on U.S. roadways. If you are going to be drinking alcohol, be sure you designate a sober driver or arrange for a taxicab to drive you home at the end of the evening. Even buzzed driving is deadly.
- Don’t Drive Drowsy. Driving when you are sleepy can prevent you from taking in everything on the road, and cause you to nod off behind the wheel. It can slow your reaction time and contributes to thousands of deadly accidents a year.
- Focus on the Task at Hand. Don’t allow phones, other electronic devices, or passengers in the vehicle to distract you. Keep your cellphone on silent mode when you are driving and keep it out of reach. This will prevent the temptation to check messages or answer calls while driving.
- Obey the Speed Limit. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cited speeding as a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. Obey all posted speed limit signs—especially in construction zones and in residential areas.
- Use Extra Caution in Inclement Weather. Rain, snow, ice, and fog can all adversely affect your ability to see, steer, or stop your vehicle. If the weather is bad, slow down and leave a little extra space between you and the car in front of you. Pull over somewhere safe if you need to or reschedule your plans for another day.
- Maintain a Safe Following Distance. For maximum safety, experts recommend the “three second rule.” Select a stationary object on the side of the road, when the vehicle in front of you passes the object; begin counting “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand.” If your car reaches the object before you finish counting, you are following too closely. This distance should be increased during poor weather and road conditions.
- Be Mindful of Other Motorists. Watch for other drivers making sudden stops, lane changes and unsigned turns. Proactive driving is essential to avoiding car accidents.
- Drive Defensively. Not speeding or tailgating is only part of driving defensively. Remaining calm in stressful situations and ignoring those who do not are also important.
- Always Fasten Your Safety Belt. The NHTSA reports that an estimated 5,500 lives could be spared every year if seatbelt use expanded to only 90%. No trip is too short. Always buckle up—and be sure that your children do as well. Children should be in proper car seats until they are the recommended height to use a car seat belt system.
- Maintain Your Vehicle. Check lights, tires, and fluid levels on a regular basis and visit a professional mechanic if anything seems out of order. Never drive on worn or balding tires and replace them promptly when they show signs of wear. Use the “penny” tire tread test to determine if your tires are too worn to continue driving. Place a penny inside one of the treads with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, replace your tires immediately.
Contact Denver Car Accident Lawyers
If you are injured in a car accident in Denver, the experienced Denver car accident lawyers at Denver Trial Lawyers ® will review your case and help you choose the legal path that is best for you and your family.