If you've been injured in an auto accident, it's important to obtain just compensation for your injuries. However, most people would certainly agree that it's always better to avoid being injured in the first place. This is especially true when you happen to be behind the wheel of a car. As we all know, car accidents can be the source of some of the most debilitating injuries that you can suffer.
Some of the things that we should do to avoid a collision are obvious: slow down and make an effort not to follow too closely. Keep your eyes open and focused on the road. Make sure you take into account the weather and the traffic conditions and keep your car in good condition. All too frequently, accidents are caused by bad brakes, balding or defective tires, worn out wiper blades or other maintenance problems. Also, control your emotions. Don't get angry at other drivers, this could lead to road rage and aggressive driving.
Not So Obvious
There are a number of other less obvious tips that can also help keep you safe. Many collisions occur when one driver is turning or when vehicles stop and start. This makes traveling through intersections the most dangerous facet of driving. In fact, most collisions occur at intersections.
Take your time when approaching an intersection. Check all oncoming traffic for that driver, or drivers who might be running a red light. Check each direction twice. You will be amazed at how many times you will see a car or motorcycle hidden in a blind spot because of that second look.
When the light turns green don't be the first driver into the intersection. Be careful if one of the vehicles clearing the intersection before you is not towing one of those hard‑to‑see low trailers. Use hand signals, such as a wave, to communicate your intentions to other drivers. When in doubt, don't enter the intersection until you are sure that you can do so safely.
Parking lots can also be dangerous. In a parking lot, treat the lines painted on the pavement the same way that you treat the lines painted on the road. That means obey them. Don't cut across rows and keep your head on a swivel to look out for drivers not following this rule. Only travel up and down the rows in the proper, marked direction and treat the end of a row like an intersection. Be especially careful when backing out of a parking spot. Make sure to “clear the rear” before you back up to avoid hitting pedestrians (especially small children, who frequently run ahead of their parents).
Remember blind spots, yours and theirs. Many collisions happen when a driver attempts to change lanes or tries to merge without checking his or her blind spot. Always, always check your blind spot before changing lanes. Never drive in another driver's blind spot because the other driver might not be as careful. Take special care around trucks, which have a large blind spot. Many trucks have a sign on the back, “if you can't see my mirrors I can't see you.” They're not joking, be sure you can see their mirrors. Even if you have the right of way, you'll always lose in a collision with an 18‑wheeler.
Taking Care in Neighborhoods
Finally, always take special care when driving in residential neighborhoods. The speed limit may be 35 miles per hour, but try going slower, especially if you think 35 plus is potentially unsafe. Neighborhoods have children and pets. They may dart into traffic without looking, so you need to look out for them. This is especially true where cars parallel‑park by the side of the road. A child can be hidden behind a car, and if you don't keep a sharp lookout a tragedy could occur.
Because much of driving safely depends on what the other driver is doing, there is no way anyone can guarantee that you will never be in a collision. However, by exercising proper care and using good sense, you can reduce your chances of getting hurt in an avoidable accident.
For more information on avoiding auto accidents visit the Worthington Law Group website.