2015 is proving to be one of the deadliest years for motorists in over 7 years. According to Ken Kolosh of the National Safety Council, “we’re not even into the more dangerous parts of the year.” Although not all of the contributing factors for this surge in car accident fatalities are known, it is generally attributed to greater numbers of motorists on the road. The economic recovery from the great recession means more people are on the roads commuting, and can afford to travel longer distances. This trend is also being driven by lower gas prices.
It’s simple statistics that when more people are on the road and exposed to the risks of driving, more accidents and fatalities will occur. Although technology has improved car safety features, it has also provided more distractions for drivers such as mobile devices with ever-increasing sophistication. Few people can live without these devices because they are central to their work and social lives. Mobile app development has compounded this problem further with an explosion of very useful and compelling software. Simple phone calls as well as texting also contribute to the distracted state of today’s drivers.
On top of mobile device distraction, the older causes of accidents have not gone away. Alcohol, speeding, aggressive driving, failure to wear seat belts, driver fatigue, and low tech forms of distraction all contribute to make the road a dangerous place. Staying safe demands more than avoiding risky driving behaviors. It requires defensive driving to protect yourself from the dangerous motorists out there. Here are three important defensive driving tips to keep in mind:
- Maintain a safe following distance – When road conditions are good, allow two to three seconds of following distance. When the rear of the car in front of you goes past a fixed object on the side of the road, count off the seconds it takes for you to reach the object. If the count does not reach two seconds, increase your distance. Increase this distance to four seconds in poor road conditions and to ten seconds in extreme conditions.
- Look beyond the car in front – Scan the road well beyond the car in front to detect traffic problems well in advance.
- Keep your distance from other cars – While this isn’t always feasible in congested conditions, the more empty space around your car, the less you are affected by the bad driving of others. Don’t be a pack driver and if a car beside you is matching your speed, speed up or slow down.
If another driver involved you or a loved one in a car accident, get the help of a car accident lawyer. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your options.