According to the National Safety Council, there were approximately 40,000 people killed in car crashes last year. This is almost a 15 percent spike in the number of fatal car accidents from 2014, the biggest surge in a two-year period in more than five decades.
Although there is no way to completely insulate yourself from being seriously injured in a car crash, there are steps you can take to help minimize that risk.
Stay Focused on the Road
Our personal injury law firm is very much aware of how much distracted driving behaviors have resulted in a tremendous increase in motor vehicle accidents. Studies show that a driver taking his or her eyes off the road for just seconds can cause a bad car crash, resulting in serious injuries. When you are driving, keep your phone on silent and put away so you are not distracted by incoming calls or messages. Make sure you keep your eyes and attention on the road and not on passengers or other factors which could cause you to take your focus away from driving.
Do Not Drive over the Posted Speed Limit
No matter how much of a hurry you are in, speeding only increases a driver's chance of being in a car crash – often a fatal one. Posted speed limits are established for a reason and ignoring them only puts everyone at risk. It may be cliché, but arriving late is better than not arriving at all. Car crashes caused by speeding are often the most horrific due to the force of impact when one vehicle hits the other. Many victims die in these crashes, while the ones who are fortunate enough to survive are often left permanently disabled from their injuries.
Do Not Tailgate
Many times, if a driver is speeding, they will also fail to leave enough space between themselves and the drivers in front of them who are obeying the law. This is the cause of far too many rear-end collisions. Driving too close to someone will not make them drive any faster, but could instead end up causing a serious crash. An impatient or aggressive driver is the cause of far too many accidents that result in the need for a victim to file a personal injury claim because they have been seriously hurt.
Do Not Drive in the Fast Lane
Too many drivers who are in the fast lane of a highway are speeding. If you travel in that lane, you are not only more apt to apply too much pressure on the gas pedal, but, even if you are obeying the speed limit, you increase your risk of having a speeding driver who is guilty of tailgating right behind you. By staying in the other lanes, you will be more likely stay at the correct speed limit and decrease that accident risk.
Merge into Traffic Slowly
Whenever you are pulling into traffic, do not assume that the vehicles who are traveling on that road are going to slow down or stop to let you drive in front of them. Wait until there is more than sufficient room for you to safely merge.
Know Where Your Blind Spots Are
Every vehicle has blind spots. Make sure you are aware where yours are and do not depend solely on your side and rearview mirrors. Look around to see what they may be missing.
Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney Today
No matter how safely you drive, there are too many other drivers on the road who engage in negligent and reckless behaviors, regardless of the known consequences. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a skilled Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the other driver. Our Va. personal injury firm has successfully represented many clients in obtaining the financial damages they deserved for their injuries and are available to discuss the details of your case.