It’s an unfortunate fact that many of us will be in at least one car accident sometime during our lives. Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, and it’s important to understand that a majority of the collisions can be avoided.
Most car accidents result from negligent actions from one or more drivers. Distracted and impaired driving are at the top of the list for reasons why these events happen. Just in 2014, 47,977 individuals were injured in Missouri car accidents and 766 people died.
In order to prevent the wrongful loss of future lives, there are steps we can all take to improve automobile safety in Missouri. The University of Missouri promotes a Drive Safe, Drive Smart campaign to encourage drivers of all ages to stay alert and follow the laws when behind the wheel. Let’s take a look at the five easiest ways to improve road safety for ourselves and others.
1) Wear Your Seatbelt
When a vehicle is involved in a collision, the driver and any passengers inside are still traveling at the vehicle’s original speed at the moment of impact. If someone is not wearing their seatbelt, they risk the potential of slamming into the steering wheel, windshield, or other passengers. While some people may think seatbelts are uncomfortable or unnecessary, they save lives.
2) Follow the Speed Limits
Speeding is a danger to the person committing the act and to everyone else on the road. While some may assume driving faster will get them to their destination sooner, this is not always the case. Being in a rush can lead to frustration, traffic stops, and accidents.
3) Never Drive Impaired
A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol will experience slower reaction times, decreased awareness, and impaired judgment. Adding driving to this can be a deadly combination. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver you can trust.
4) Know How to Drive in Inclement Weather
While you may think your four-wheel drive has you covered in all types of weather, think again. In inclement weather, it’s important to drive slowly and leave plenty of space between vehicles – especially because your vehicle may not be able to stop as quickly as you want it to. Make sure to always have your headlights on in the rain, snow, or fog. And remember, keep an eye on the weather forecast because it’s better to leave earlier to avoid weather than it is to get stuck in it for hours.
5) Be Prepared
It’s a good idea to keep the following items in your car: jumper cables, a small first aid kit, a poncho, a tow strap, a flashlight, and a blanket. Make sure you know how to check your vehicle’s fluid levels, how to jump the car if the battery goes dead, how to check the tire pressure, and how to change a flat tire.
Even if we take all the necessary precautions when getting behind the wheel, that doesn’t guarantee that everyone else will. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, our auto accident lawyers are prepared to fight for you. Contact us today with a free evaluation of your claim.