1. Don’t text and drive
Texting and driving is one of the sure fire ways to end up in an accident. Studies show that texting while driving reduces your reaction time while driving the same as if you were drinking a lot of bears. You would not drive drunk so why would you text and drive. It seems innocent enough, but many a defendant thought it was no big deal to text and drive until they end up being sued in court. Some Counties like Summit County have made texting while driving illegal. That means you can get a ticket just for texting your friends while driving. Ask yourself; is that text so important that it is worth losing my life? Usually the text can wait until you get where you are going. If absolutely necessary, why not call the person and use a speaker phone to keep your hands free.
When your car is in great shape you are more likely to be able to not cause accidents and even avoid them when someone else is driving carelessly. When your tires and brakes are in top condition, it makes avoiding accidents much easier. How do you stop quickly when you have no tread on your tires? How can you correctly signal your intent to turn or stop when you’re turning or brake lights don’t work? You are much more likely to stop in time or swerve out of the way when your car or truck works like it was designed to work. An Ohio motor vehicle without proper brakes and tires is very dangerous to everyone on the road.
3. Stop at all stop signs
This is an obvious tip, but you would be surprised at how many people roll through stop signs or jut their front ends out into traffic at a stop sign. Always ask yourself “am I setting myself up for an accident here?” or “are my actions likely to lead someone else to hit me?”
4. Look both ways before turning right on red or proceeding through an intersection
This second seemingly obvious tip ends up being the cause of many accidents. Over the years, I am surprised at how many people proceed through intersections assuming everyone else will follow the law and do the same. Don’t assume everyone on the road is paying attention. If they were, personal injury lawyers would be out of business. Take a few seconds and look both ways. Remember, just because the light is green does not mean it is totally safe to enter the intersection.
5. Scan the cars and area in front of you
It is shocking how many Ohio accidents are caused by drivers failing to keep an assured clear distance. In other words, they just don’t pay attention and run into the car in front of them. The reasons for this can be texting, putting on makeup, talking to a friend, etc. Remember that you are driving a 3,000 to 4,000 pound car at 35-65 miles an hour. Next time you are outside of your car, look at the cars going by and imagine how it would feel if one of them ran into you or your car. People lose perspective of the real dangers of driving when they are behind the wheel. If you just made sure “not to hit the guy in front of you” many Ohio accidents would not occur. Also, don’t ride so close behind the guy in front of you that you can clearly read his license plate. If you can watch the TV in the back seat of the car in front of you, you are way too close.
6. Beware of blind spots
Blind spots cause a lot of accidents in Ohio. This is especially true when you are changing lanes. I always look in the side mirror and physically check the blind spot very quickly. You can also buy mirrors that attach to your side view mirrors that reduce the blind spot. Some new cars will even tell you when a car is in your blind spot and you are trying to change lanes.
7. Slow down in the rain and snow
It only makes sense that when the roads are wet with rain or snow or ice, tires don’t work as well and it takes longer to stop. Brakes skid on ice. Also, car and truck handling decreases significantly. Drive farther behind the car in front of you when the weather turns bad. Drive slower. It is not worth risking your life.
8. Drive with both hands on the wheel
This seems obvious, but when you have both hands on the wheel, you are not playing with the radio, a comb or brush, or texting. Remember you are driving a machine capable of killing a lot of people. Treat it with the respect it deserves. You would not use a chain saw with two fingers while texting would you?
9. Don’t drive after drinking, taking heavy pain killers or when extremely tired
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, 320 people lost their lives because of drunk drivers on Ohio roads in 2009.
Personally, my rule is that if I have more than 1 beer I don’t drive. This may seem extreme to you, but after you have seen all I have seen, it is not a problem for me to have my girlfriend drive or simply have an iced tea instead of a beer. My rule is that if I have to ask myself if I am OK to drive I probably should not drive. Driving while extremely tired car reduce your reaction time significantly. Have a friend drive if possible, or get off the road if you think you are about to fall asleep at the wheel and are struggling to keep your eyes open.
10. Don’t assume the other guy is a safe driver
This is sort of a general tip that will help keep you safe on the roads. People tell me that they did not think they could get in an accident because they are a good driver. They failed to plan for the other guy who was drunk, on drugs, tired, texting or just distracted on the road. Do not assume the other guy is as good and conscientious as you are. It may just save your life.
The above tips will never assume you will not be in an accident. You can only control what you do behind the wheel, as you cannot control the other guy. However insure you take personal responsibility for yur actions behind the wheel and drive defensively.
The above information was brought to you by the Ohio personal injury lawyers at Chester Law Group Co., LPA.
Chester Law Group Co., LPA
430 White Pond Drive
Akron, OH 44320