Safe driving is one of the goals we look to promote here at DashCam Bros. Despite being in a time where cars are equipped with more safety features, car accidents are on the rise. There are an average of 6 million car accidents in the United States every year, with 27% of them resulting in a non-fatal injury and 72% of them resulting in property damage (CertifiedParalegals.org). You can take preventative measures to reduce the chance of getting into a car accident by being a safe driver and following the tips below.
1) Do not drink and drive
Driving under the influence of any substance will hinder your cognitive abilities and your reaction time. About 40% of auto accident fatalities have involved alcohol in particular (drunk drivers). If you are anticipating consuming alcohol, do not drive! Have a friend be your designated driver or find another mode of transportation such as taking a taxi or Uber. It is not worth the risk to drive drunk; the consequences will far outweigh the risk. Please be smart about it!
2) Follow the speed limit
About 30% of auto accident fatalities are caused by speeding. Respecting the speed limit will give you better control over your vehicle, allowing you to have better reactions and will also save you from receiving traffic tickets that may put points on your license and increase your insurance. Did you know that a pedestrian being hit by a car at 40 mph has a 90% chance of death, a pedestrian hit by a car at 30 mph has a 50% chance of death, and a pedestrian hit by a car at 20 mph has a 10% chance of death. Speeding may only save you several minutes on your trip time, but your risk of getting into an accident and causing serious injury or death to pedestrians significantly increases! Obey the speed limit; the well-being of yourself and those around you is more important and your wallet will thank you!
3) If you are tired, do not drive
Driving drowsy can be very dangerous. A driver that falls asleep behind the wheel can be unpredictable. The car can swerve off the road, hit other drivers, and even go into oncoming traffic. It only takes a second, especially if you are driving on the highway, to get into an accident. If you are tired, have a friend in the passenger seat take over. If you are by yourself, pull over or find a rest area where you can get some sleep or grab coffee and wait until you are more alert.
4) Minimize distractions
Distractions, such as texting, eating, drinking, and playing with the radio, can cause you to take your eyes off the road. Try to keep these types of distractions to a minimum in order to ensure you have complete control over your vehicle. One major distraction to avoid at all costs is texting. Do not text and drive! Texting while driving is comparable to driving with your eyes closed. Research has shown that texting, on average, causes the driver to lose focus on the road for 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field at 55 mph, blind. Imagine that… That’s a scary thought isn’t it? Even if you are not driving, you can help prevent texting and driving by deciding not to text friends and family that you know are behind the wheel at that moment.
5) Practice defensive driving
In addition to keeping to the speed limit, you can also minimize the risk of accidents by being aware of your surroundings. Be wary of cars in front, besides, and behind you. Do not tailgate the car in front of you and make sure you leave enough space between cars (at least one car length per 5 mph of speed is a good rule of thumb to follow).
6) Purchase a safe car
Buying a safe car is one of the best investments you can possibly make. Make sure your car is up-to-date with safety features. Read safety rating reviews on cars before making a purchase, and ensure that the reviews are up to standard.
7) Wear your seat belt
Seat belts are really a groundbreaking innovation that has dramatically increased one's ability to survive a car accident. Seat belts are proven to reduce the risk of death by 45% and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%. Furthermore, occupants/drivers not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a crash. Wear your seat belt - it can really save your life.