There are nearly 6 million car accidents in the United States each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These wrecks kill up to 40,000 Americans and injure thousands more.
Although you cannot control the actions of other drivers, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of crashing. The most effective strategy? Practice defensive driving.
If you were injured by a negligent motorist in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. A Monroe auto accident lawyer will gather evidence, interview witnesses and help you fight for the maximum compensation.
Let’s take a look at five key principles of defensive driving:
- Avoid Distractions
Today’s drivers face dozens of distractions every time they hit the road. Cell phones, loud passengers, accident scenes – it’s not always easy to stay focused on the task of driving.
The deadliest distractions are those that occupy your physical, mental and visual abilities at the same time. Examples include texting and surfing social media sites behind the wheel.
Engaging in distracting behaviors not only puts your life at risk, but it also threatens the safety of your passengers and other road users. Here are a few tips to help you avoid distracted driving accidents:
- Put your cell phone on silent;
- Do not eat or drink behind the wheel;
- Tell rowdy passengers to behave;
- Ask a passenger to adjust climate and audio controls for you;
- And program your GPS before you depart.
- Stay Sober and Alert
It’s no secret that driving high or drunk will increase the likelihood of crashing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2014 involved a drunk driver.
But here’s a fact you may not know: Driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. According to the CDC, drowsy driving caused an estimated 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013.
- Purchase a Safe Vehicle
Purchase a vehicle that has advanced safety equipment such as a backup camera, electronic stability control, and lane departure warning. These will help you avoid accidents caused by the most dangerous threat on Louisiana roads: human error.
- Follow Traffic Laws – and Make Sure Your Passengers Do the Same
Make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt and that children are in age-appropriate car seats. Also, remember that traffic laws are in place for your safety. Do not speed, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, make illegal turns or commit other traffic violations.
- Avoid Dangerous Situations
Try to limit your time on the road in bad weather and at night. Do not tailgate, and reduce your speed in adverse conditions. Avoid driving during rush hour and drinking holidays. Finally, if another driver appears drowsy, drunk or distracted, then keep your distance.
If you were injured in a crash that another driver caused, contact a Monroe auto accident attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.