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Essential Tips for Preventing Common Car Accident Scenarios

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How Common Are Car Accidents in Texas?

Generally speaking, if you haven’t experienced a car accident at some point in your life, you may be in the minority. With a car accident happening almost every minute in the state of Texas, with an accident-related death occurring nearly every two hours, and injuries happening practically every two minutes in recent stats, accidents happen constantly. So how can we avoid them? Not only can an accident lead to hassles such as being late for work or other destinations, but injuries quickly add up, as well as expenses and time away from work, which can lead to unforeseen bills. Aside from the inconvenience, injuries can change your life or lead to the death of you or a loved one.

Limit Distractions

As it has been intensively scrutinized for years, we have all heard of texting and driving and how it can easily lead to accidents. Most states have laws to curb this habit, which can come with stiff penalties. Using your phone at all while operating a vehicle may come with fines as states impose strict penalties further to help the safety of those on the road. If you need to use your cell phone while driving, pull over to the side of the road, or exit the highway and pull into a safe place to return a text, make a call, or do any other tasks. Other common distractions may be eating while driving, adjusting the radio or temperature in the vehicle, or trying to input information on the car’s navigation system. If you can’t handle these tasks before you strike out on your commute, you should pull over or wait until you reach your destination to complete them safely.

Avoid Rear End Collisions

Keeping a safe distance between you and other vehicles on the road is essential, especially if inclement weather is present. The National Safety Council has created an easy way to ensure that you are traveling at a safe distance from other drivers. It is called the three-second rule. The way it works is to find a stationary object and count how many seconds it is from when the car ahead of you passes the object, and you pass it. If it is less than three seconds, back off and try again until it takes three seconds to pass the same object as the car in front of you.

Defensive Driving and Intersections

Distractions or confusion at intersections is another standard reason for car accidents. If you are at an intersection, use an additional second after the light has turned green to ensure others are not running the red light going the other direction which can lead to an accident. You can also scan other drivers at the stoplight to see who may be distracted and make a mental note to give them more room at the light change. It is always better to be late to your destination and arrive safely. Give yourself extra time when navigating city streets or county roads, especially at intersections.

Avoid Windshield Damage

Limiting windshield damage is another critical way to avoid accidents or damage to your vehicle. How do you do this? Keep extra distance when following semi trucks or other large trucks that may kick up rocks or other debris in the roadway. If a snowplow or other maintenance vehicle is on the roadway, give them extra room and slow down or switch to another lane. Not only can this help avoid damage to your windshield, but reacting to a crack or chip in your windshield can cause you to go off the road or veer into oncoming traffic. By avoiding damage to your windshield, you could potentially prevent serious accidents.

Other Tips to Help Avoid Car Accidents

It boils down to slowing down, paying attention, and adhering to laws while on the road. Wear your seatbelt, don’t speed or use your phone while driving, obey all traffic signals and signs, and remain vigilant. For some, having multiple passengers or children present in the car can be enough of a distraction that they may want to limit these actions. For others, driving at night can pose more difficulty than driving during the day, and if so, they can restrict night driving. Adjusting your mirrors to see more of your vehicle’s blind spots and other drivers can also be crucial to safe driving. Practice in parking lots and driveways to adjust your mirrors and see what position is best. Regular inspections and maintenance of your vehicle are also necessary. Ensure that your brakes and turn signals are all working properly so you aren’t inadvertently placing yourself or others in danger while driving. Also, being familiar with your vehicle, the space it takes up, and its limitations can help keep you safe. For example, if you recently changed from a compact car to an SUV, you may not be able to navigate in and out of tight spaces like you once did, or you may not be able to speed up to pass a vehicle the way you once did with a different car. If you are dealing with the aftermath of an accident, contact our office at (713) 999-6549 for a free consultation. We have over 40 years of combined experience as a husband and wife team, and we are ready to become a strong and capable advocate for you and your loved ones.
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