Traffic accidents can lead to serious injuries, fatalities, and property damage. Fortunately, many accidents are preventable by following safe driving practices and being aware of potential risks on the road. This comprehensive guide offers valuable tips on how to avoid traffic accidents and stay safe while driving.
Whether you're a new driver or have had your driving license for many years, road accident can still happen regardless of your experience. In fact, based on the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety released by the World Health Organization , the number of traffic-related deaths reached a high of 1.35 million. It has also increased to the eighth leading cause of death for people of all ages, ahead of HIV/AIDS.
A road accident can lead to injuries, financial struggles, and even emotional turmoil. Unfortunately, it can't be avoided, but you may be able to reduce your chances of getting into a road accident if you know what tends to cause car wrecks. Here are 6 basic tips to avoid road accidents during the upcoming New Year holidays and festive season.
1. Avoid Drunk Driving
Always call a taxi or a friend to drive you home whenever you’ve been drinking alcohol. A total of 36,096 people died in car accidents from 33,244 motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019, according to the Federal Highway Administration. It is also important to remember that you should never get in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking and intends to drive. Riding with someone intoxicated is just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel yourself.
2. Always check your car (Maintenance)
Ensure that your car is regularly checked and any mechanical problems fixed. Properly maintaining your vehicle is key to keeping it in the best condition. It can also help ensure your safety and those around you. Lack of maintenance in other car parts could result in fires or explosions. In addition, proving that your car has been maintained regularly can go a long way in an accident claim.
3. Don’t drive when you’re sleepy
Lack of sleep is a significant factor for many drivers who cause road accidents. So you should never drive drowsy and rest properly before going for a drive. Drowsy driving is an important safety hazard in the U.S. In 2017 alone, the National High Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly 91,000 vehicle accidents and nearly 800 fatalities were attributed to drowsy driving crashes.
4. Bring a companion (for a long drive)
Whenever you are in a vehicle, there’s a risk of being involved in a traffic accident even if you are not at fault. If you are traveling long distances, it’s safer to travel with a friend or someone you know to avoid fatigue on your body system, which may affect your functionality.
5. Drive at a reasonable speed
Always be careful and drive reasonably, especially during the festive season and winter weather conditions. With speeding as the 3rd leading cause of road accidents in the United States, it’s better to risk running late than risk your entire life. If you feel tempted to push your speed from time to time, it’s wise to remain within the posted speed limits.
6. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is the number 1 cause of road accidents, and the threat grows more substantial yearly. Distracted driving doesn’t just mean talking or texting on your smartphone, reading emails, and social media. While those are preeminent concerns, eating, reading, grooming, and applying makeup while driving can also lead to distracted driving accidents.
Road Accident in the United States
The types of motor vehicle accident deaths varied across states in 2020. For example, Wyoming had the highest rate of fatalities involving SUV and pickup occupants and the lowest rate of deaths involving car occupants. In contrast, Vermont had the highest rate of fatalities involving car occupants and a relatively low percentage of deaths involving SUV and pickup occupants. Hawaii reported relatively low proportions of fatalities for both cars and SUVs and pickups but a relatively high rate of pedestrian deaths. Florida and Hawaii tied for the highest percentage of crash deaths involving bicyclists, and New Jersey had the highest percentage involving pedestrians.