With the start of the new year, take the time to assess your habits and focus on creating safer, healthier ones. Use the following safety tips to make yourself a safer driver and reduce your risk of being injured in a car accident.
1. Adjust your Driving to your Surroundings
As the weather changes, so should your driving style. When the road is covered with snow and ice, drive more slowly and consider using tire chains to give your vehicle better traction.
2. Never Drive Distracted, Drunk, or Drowsy
Remember the three Ds of dangerous driving: drunk, drowsy, and distracted. Always drive well rested and put your phone and any other devices away while driving. If you plan to consume alcohol, get a ride home with a designated drive or make use of public transportation.
3. Share the Roadway
In most settings, you are not the only one on the road. And when you have to share the road with others, you usually have to share it with pedestrians and motorists operating other types of vehicle, such as motorcycles, tractor trailers, and bicycles. Give other road users the space they need to use the roadway safely. Large vehicles like commercial trucks need a greater distance to come to a complete stop and motorcycles can be difficult to see, especially at night.
4. Be Aware of Safety Recalls
It is not uncommon for vehicle parts to be recalled because they pose safety risks to their operators and others on the roadway. Subscribe to a recall newsletter and regularly check websites like recalls.gov to keep yourself informed about current recalls.
5. Proper Maintenance Keeps your Vehicle Safe
Keeping your vehicle in proper condition will keep you and other motorists safe. Replace all worn-out parts, such as brake pads, windshield wiper blades, and lights in a timely manner.
6. Be Prepared for a Break Down
Have a safety kit in your car in the event your vehicle breaks down. This kit should include a flashlight, a warm blanket and at least a gallon of fresh water for you, a phone charger, a basic tool set, and a bright colored ribbon to tie around a nearby tree in the event you are stranded and need to make yourself more visible.
7. Know What to Do After an Accident
If you are involved in an accident, pull over immediately and call 911 if anybody needs emergency medical attention. If not, gather evidence you will need to support a personal injury claim later, such as photos of the accident and contact information for eyewitnesses. Call the local police to have an officer come to fill out an official police report. Do not leave the scene of the accident without exchanging automobile insurance information with all other drivers involved.
8. Keep Calm Behind the Wheel
Your state of mind has a significant impact on your driving ability. Although traffic, aggressive drivers, and personal issues can make you upset while you are driving, keep yourself calm at all times. If you are not in a safe emotional state to operate your vehicle, pull over and give yourself time to calm down before you resume driving.
Work with an Experienced Appleton Personal Injury Lawyer
You can take steps to reduce your chance of being injured in a car accident this year, but you can never completely eliminate that chance. If you are a victim of a car accident facing significant expenses like medical bills and lost wages, consider working with a member of our team of experienced Appleton personal injury lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC to pursue compensation for your damages. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation with us.