In the United States, a motorist's risk of being involved in a fatal car accident is 1.3%. Although that number may seem relatively low, driving cautiously on the road should be every driver's main priority when they are behind the wheel. Not only does minimizing your risk of a car accident help save lives, it helps keep insurance premiums low and upholds the integrity of your vehicle longer. The personal injury attorneys at Lipkin & Higgins want to share tips for auto accident avoidance to help you keep the roads safer.
1. Look for Safety Technology When Purchasing a New Car
Decades ago, seat belts and air bags were additional safety features that you needed to look for when purchasing a new car. As modern technology has advanced, the auto industry has come out with innovative safety features that help keep drivers safe. If you are looking to buy a new car, try purchasing one that has safety technology to help better prevent a car crash. The United States Automobile Association (USAA) shares numerous automobile tech features that drivers should consider adding to their vehicle package, including:
- Collision Warning System: This features alerts you if a collision is about to happen.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: Helping drivers keep a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, this technology monitors the driver's set speed and adapts it when necessary.
- 360-Degree Camera: This feature is great for parking and backing up in a crowded or heavily-trafficked area. The 360° view gives drivers a holistic look at pedestrians, other vehicles, and parking lines while behind the wheel.
In addition to sharing the cutting-edge safety technology on the market, USAA highlights specific features certain types of drivers should look for when purchasing a car to help avoid an auto accident.
- Night Drivers: Adaptive Headlights
- Young Drivers: Collision Warning System and Park Assist
- Older or Disabled Drivers: Lane Departure and Blind Spot Alerts
2. Avoid Distracted Driving
With today's fast-paced world, there are so many distractions for drivers that were not around even a few years ago. Distracted driving poses a very real threat in contributing to car accidents. In 2014 alone, there were 431,000 people injured in car accidents that involved distracted drivers. This type of driving includes:
- Eating and Drinking
- Using Your Phone
- Programming a Navigation System
- Talking to Passengers
- And More
On average when a driver partakes in one of the distractions listed above, their eyes are off the road for 5 seconds, which is enough time to travel the distance of one football field blindfolded. Avoiding texting, talking, and eating while driving will keep you focused on the road and give you the ability to minimize your risk of an accident.
3. Leave with Plenty of Time to Drive to Your Destination
Allowing for adequate travel time while driving minimizes the risk of getting into an accident. This form of distracted driving can be detrimental, especially if you are driving in winter weather, poor road conditions, or an area with high pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Always make sure to plug your destination in a GPS ahead of time to give yourself plenty of travel time.
4. Get Everything Situated Before You Drive
Reaching for a phone charger, plugging in your GPS, or grabbing your wallet from the back seat can all cause a car accident in the blink of an eye. Make sure that you get all of your belongings situated prior to driving to help minimize distractions while on the road.
Remember to always practice caution when behind a wheel, no matter the situation. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Lipkin & Higgins. Learn more about our car accident experience and expertise by visiting our blog or reading our case results.