Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike expect that they will be safe when using the road. Accident lawyers know that despite that expectation, not all drivers use safe driving behaviour or follow best driving practices. Driving has become such a routine task for some; they forget the serious consequences that can be caused by a car accident.
Personal injury lawyers often represent people who have sustained significant injuries in accidents that could have been avoided if the other driver had simply been more careful or paid more attention. In the hopes of keeping easily preventable accidents to a minimum, the experienced road accident lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP compiled this list of tips on avoiding a road accident:
1. Avoid distraction. When you are driving, focus only on driving. Many drivers seem to think of driving as the secondary task that they do while they eat, drink, chat, play with the radio, or get lost in thought. When a driver is distracted from the task of driving, they can miss potentially dangerous situations, or worse – they can be the cause of danger.
2. Continuously scan the road. When driving, don’t just stare straight ahead. It is important to keep your eyes moving at all times, frequently shifting your vision from the side mirrors, the rear-view mirror, and ahead to where your vehicle will be.
3. Use extra caution at intersections. Even if you are entering an intersection on a green light, check in all directions to make sure that the intersection is clear and that other traffic has given you the right of way. On a yellow light, be even more vigilant to ensure that no one is trying to speed through before the light changes or attempting to make a left-hand turn across your lane of travel.
4. Never talk or text on your cell phone. Despite extensive media campaigns and police crackdowns on cell phone use while driving, road accident lawyers continue to see personal injuries caused by drivers who were talking or texting instead of concentrating on driving. If you find it difficult to avoid the temptation, put your cell phone out of your reach when you get behind the wheel (e.g., stow it in the glove compartment or leave it in your bag) and consider turning off the ringer.
5. Slow down. Speeding reduces the time you have to react. Never exceed the speed limit and always keep in mind that the posted speed limit is for ideal conditions only. If it is raining or traffic is heavy, for example, it may be necessary to drive at less than the speed limit. If you are going too fast, you will be much less likely to be able to stop safely.
6. Keep a safe distance. This is related to the point above, as the faster your vehicle is going, the greater the following distance you should leave. Following too closely is a major (and highly preventable) cause of road accidents. The faster you are going, the more time it will take to bring your vehicle to a stop. In addition to speed, weather conditions and the volume of traffic are also factors in the determination of safe following distance. At minimum, you should keep at least two seconds of following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
7. Take a defensive driving class. Whether you are relatively new to driving or have been driving for many years, it is a good idea to take a defensive driving class. Defensive driving is a set of driving skills that allows you to defend yourself against risks caused by hazards such as bad drivers, drunk drivers, and poor weather. When you have sharpened your driving skills, you will be better able to anticipate and react to hazardous situations, and thereby have a better chance of avoiding road accidents.
If you have been injured in a road accident, lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP are available for a free consultation to discuss your claim for compensation. We are a plaintiffs-only, motor vehicle injury law firm and 100% of our work is representing injured victims.