More than 35,000 people died in car wrecks in 2015, which was a 7 percent increase from 2014. Safety technology isn’t enough. Drivers must learn to take evasive action.
Car accident fatalities in the U.S. are trending upward, making it more important than ever that drivers learn the most effective ways to avoid a car crash. The fact that more than 35,000 people died in car accidents in 2015 is troubling, but of even greater concern is that a high percentage of those crashes were avoidable.
According to the NPR, despite all the safety technology designed to make driving safer, 94 percent of car accidents in the U.S. each year can be attributed to human choice or human error. This includes driving after consuming alcohol, and speeding or texting-while-driving, which are all behaviors that are easily preventable. (1) Some car accident situations are impossible to prevent, but for the majority of them there are five actions you can take to reduce the risk of a car wreck
Car Accident Prevention Methods
There are many ways to put yourself in a protective position while driving. But there are five car accident prevention methods that you can take right now which can help counteract the most common causes of car wrecks:
- Pay Attention To Blind Spots – Blind spots are a huge risk on the road, because they refer to areas on the road that your side and rearview mirrors cannot see. And because unsafe lane changes are one of the biggest contributing factors in car accidents, it’s important for you to crane your neck and look behind you. This eliminates the blind spot and allows you to make a safe lane change. It’s also important to be aware of the blind spots for other drivers as they attempt to change lanes, so you can slow down and allow them to make that change.
- Avoid All Distractions – Distracted driving includes texting-while-driving, eating, chatting with a passenger (especially one seated in the back), applying makeup and watching a movie on an in-vehicle video system. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 people died in 2015 due to distracted driving, including sending or reading a text, or speaking on a mobile phone. (2)
- Don’t Drive In the Fast Lane – On most highways or roads with multiple lanes, the left lane is considered the ‘fast lane,’ where drivers routinely exceed the speed limit. But the problem with driving in the fast lane on highways is that if a problem arises, it is much more difficult to change lanes to get out of harm’s way. And the other problem is that the ‘fast lane’ means that you are speeding, which is one of the leading causes of car wrecks.
- Stay Within the Speed Limit – “Speed Kills” is a phrase often used in sports as a compliment to fast players, but when you are driving, it has a more literal meaning. Speeding makes it much more likely that you will lose control of your vehicle, especially if another driver does something unexpected. Speeding also increases the impact of a collision, and it makes it nearly impossible for you to brake safely if the cars in front of you come to a sudden stop.
“Human error and human choice can be modified,” stated Dallas Car Wreck Attorney Amy Witherite, partner at Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “When driving behavior changes and motorists become more aware of their surroundings, they tend to make better choices. Deciding not to text and drive, or deciding to drive within the speed limit are easy choices to make. If more drivers make good choices, the rate of car accident fatalities would drop significantly.”
Your Rights After a Car Accident
Because human error will continue to play such a large part in car wrecks, it is important to understand your rights after a car accident. First, you have the right to call the police and file a report. Second, you have the right to obtain insurance information from the driver who was at fault. Third, you have the right to take photos of all vehicles damaged in the accident.
But maybe the most important right you have is the right to call a personal injury law firm such as the team at 1-800-Car-Wreck, who will keep life running after a wreck brings everything in your life to a stop. If you need legal advice, give us a call, we’re available 24/7.