There’s nothing more convenient than being able to hop into your car and get from Point A to Point B. As convenient and fun as driving may be, however, it can also be quite dangerous. A recent survey conducted by the National Safety Council determined that 83 percent of drivers have safety concerns when behind the wheel. Because of these overwhelming numbers, we wanted to put together a list of steps that Colorado drivers can take to operate their vehicles more safely and to avoid accidents.
1 – Ditch the Distractions
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and distractions are everywhere! This is especially true in our modern world where cellphones and tablets are a part of everyday life. In order to protect you and your loved ones, we urge you to ditch these types of devices whenever you’re behind the wheel. The majority of voice calls and text conversations can wait until after you are done driving. Even talking via Bluetooth or hands-free systems can be very distracting. If you absolutely must make a call or send a text, it is imperative that you pull safely to the side of the road before doing so.
2 – Control Your Speed
If you’ve got a lead foot, there’s a much greater risk for being involved in an automobile accident. Those who travel at the speed limit are less likely to be in an accident and the severity of accidents that do occur will be less than when high speeds are involved. Driving the speed limit also makes it easier for you to brake slowly and gradually. Braking slowly is safer than slamming on the brakes and it’s a whole lot better for your brake pads!
3 – Be Alert and Aware
Don’t ever get behind the wheel if you’re feeling drowsy. Although it’s tempting to “power through” in order to get home after a long journey or a late night, being tired means that you are less alert and less aware of your surroundings. You should always be able to stay focused on what’s going on in front of you, behind you, and to either side of your vehicle. If you feel that you aren’t as alert and aware as you should be, it’s wise to pull over and rest or ask someone else to drive.
4 – Use Your Signals
You’d be amazed by how many drivers are involved in accidents simply because they forgot to switch on their turn signals. Your signals are there for a reason – to communicate your intentions to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians! Using your signal in advance can help other drivers slow down to avoid rear-ending you as you make a turn, and can let pedestrians and bicyclists know that you will be making a turn so that they don’t get in your path and cause an accident.
5 – Never Make Assumptions
If you’re driving defensively, you know that you can never assume anything about other drivers on the road. Just because a speeding car is approaching a red light or a stop sign doesn’t mean that they’re actually going to stop, and just because someone’s turn signal is switched on doesn’t mean that they’re going to make that right turn instead of plowing straight into your car. Always be cautious and aware of what’s going on around you so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones. In addition to not making assumptions about other drivers, you shouldn’t make assumptions about what you see in your side mirrors. ALWAYS check your blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn, and consider investing in newer vehicles with blind spot detection systems.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, the time to act is now. Reach out to the professionals at Mintz Law Firm today.