Top 8 Ways to Prevent an Injury in a Car Crash
No one expects to be involved in a car crash, but the unfortunate reality is that accidents happen every day. While some crashes are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to prevent injuries in the event of a collision. By following these tips, you can drastically reduce the risk of a serious injury. If a collision occurs nonetheless, speak to a Jersey City car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
1. Develop Safe Driving Habits
Creating safe driving habits is the first step in preventing an injury on the road. Follow all posted speed limits, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, and be extra cautious in hazardous weather conditions. Also consider the following:
- Keep both hands on the wheel: Proper hand positioning on the wheel (at 9 and 3 o’clock) ensures better control of your vehicle, allowing you to react quickly to any sudden changes on the road.
- Be extra cautious at intersections: A large portion of car accidents occur at intersections. Always follow traffic signals and be prepared for unpredictable behaviors from other drivers.
2. Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Conduct regular checks on your vehicle’s crucial components:
- Inspect your brakes regularly: Taking good care of your brakes helps prevent accidents caused by brake failures. Make sure to get your brakes professionally checked at least once a year or whenever you suspect an issue.
- Maintain your tires: Routinely check your tire pressure, as underinflated or overinflated tires can compromise your vehicle’s handling. Also, ensure your tires have adequate tread depth to maintain grip on the road.
- Get regular tune-ups: Regular vehicle maintenance is essential for ensuring your vehicle’s vital components are functioning correctly. This includes oil changes, belt and hose inspections, and checking for any recalls that may affect your vehicle’s safety.
3. Ensure Proper Seatbelt and Child Restraint Usage
Seatbelts are known to be the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in car accidents. Here’s how to ensure proper seatbelt usage:
- Wear your seatbelt correctly: The lap belt should be snug and low across your hips, while the shoulder belt should lay across your chest and not twist or slip off your shoulder. Never place the belt under your arm or behind your back.
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up: Ensure all passengers are wearing seatbelts correctly, including backseat passengers, who are also at risk of sustaining injuries during a crash.
4. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is an ever-growing danger with the increasing use of smartphones and other electronics. To improve safety and help avoid car accidents, it’s essential to eliminate distractions while keeping your focus on the road. A few ways to ensure undivided attention while driving include:
- Using hands-free devices for phone calls
- Preparing your navigation system before starting the journey
- Adjusting the radio or entertainment system only when safe to do so
- Refraining from texting, using social media, or browsing the internet while behind the wheel
5. Properly Adjust Your Headrest
In many cases, people overlook the importance of a correctly adjusted headrest. A poorly adjusted headrest can increase your risk of whiplash or other neck and spinal injuries in case of a collision. Take the time to properly adjust your headrest before hitting the road, and make sure all passengers do the same as well.
6. Be Aware of Speed
Speed is a significant factor in many car accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2019, speeding contributed to 29% of all accident-related fatalities in the US. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of serious injury in a car crash is by maintaining a safe and appropriate speed for the road conditions.
Always adhere to posted speed limits and exercise caution when driving in inclement weather, construction zones, or during heavy traffic. Traveling at a safe speed not only reduces the likelihood of accidents but can also decrease the intensity and potential injuries sustained in a car crash.
7. Follow from a Safe Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance is one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents and injuries. The recommended safe distance is at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. To determine this distance, choose a stationary object on the road and start counting when the vehicle ahead passes it. Stop counting when your car reaches the same object. If you don’t reach three seconds, you need to increase your following distance.
8. Stay Alert and Sober
One of the most important things you can do to minimize your risk of injury during a car crash is to stay alert and sober at all times while driving. To stay alert, make sure you are well-rested before hitting the road and avoid driving when you’re feeling fatigued.
If you plan to consume alcohol, arrange for a designated driver or use a taxi or rideshare app to ensure a safe trip home. Keep in mind that illegal drugs, prescription medications, and some over-the-counter drugs can also impair your driving ability as well.
Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of modern life, and they can cause significant injuries or even fatalities. While some accidents are unavoidable, many can be prevented by taking the precautions above. If you need help after an accident, contact our car and truck accident lawyer in Jersey City to schedule a free consultation.