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Prevention is Key: Five Common Reasons for Car Accidents
Car accidents can be devastating, especially when other people are involved. But no matter the severity—small or large—no one wants to be in a car crash and deal with the consequences after. Even a seemingly small fender bender can result in headaches and lengthy phone calls to your insurance company, as well as potentially being without a car during repairs.
Surprisingly, over 90% of car accidents are caused by human error. Although this statistic may sound bad, it means there is a lot you can do to prevent collisions on the road. Our attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A. put together a list of five common reasons for auto accidents; and we’ll tell you how to help prevent them from happening.
Driving at Night
Did you know that nearly half of all fatal car accidents happen at night? There are many reasons for this, but the most common reasons are that drivers tend to be less alert.
Traffic may be lighter so they don’t tend to be as much of a defensive driver as they may be during the day, or they may be exhausted after a long day of work.
Auto Accident Prevention Tips:
- Maintain your headlights. Make sure you pay attention to your lights and replace all burnt-out bulbs right away. Headlights should be cleaned so you can have the maximum amount of light at night while driving.
- Be cautious of common daytime routes. Most drunk drivers are on the roads between midnight and 3 am. If you know the route you are driving is a common road, you may want to give yourself more time and give yourself distance from potential drunk drivers by taking less busy roads.
- Do not drive when tired or intoxicated. You should never drive when you are tired or under the influence, whether it is nighttime or daytime.
This one seems obvious—no one should be speeding as it is against the law. No matter what reason you may think you have, speeding is extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be done.
Speeding has been a contributing factor to over 25% of fatal accidents for the last 13 years. Drivers that speed have less control over their car and when a crash does occur there is more property damage and bodily harm sustained due to the higher speeds of impact.
Auto Accident Prevention Tips:
- Give yourself more time. Make sure you estimate your travel time and account for any unexpected delays, detours, or heavy traffic.
- Be a defensive driver. Remember that even if you are not speeding, someone else could be speeding and come up to your car too quickly.
Although Florida is known as the Sunshine State, it does have its share of rain—whether it’s a summer shower, a tropical storm, or just hazy outside. Between heavy rain and fog obstructing a driver’s vision and wet roads, poor weather conditions are known to cause a lot of car accidents.
When the weather is bad, we suggest that drivers:
- Turn on headlights and windshield wipers. These may seem obvious, but they are often forgotten.
- Do NOT turn on hazards. A high percentage of drivers think that when it is raining and they are driving slower, they should turn on their hazards. Hazard lights should be used for stopped vehicles only.
- Consider your brakes. Car brakes can be less effective in the rain. They use friction to slow down a car, and when it is wet outside there is less friction between the tires and the road. When it is raining, remember to give yourself extra distance than you might otherwise need in case you need to brake quickly.
One of the most common auto insurance claims is for rear-end collisions. Whether you are the driver who hits the car in front of you, or you are the driver who gets hit by the vehicle behind you, both accidents are avoidable.
Consider these tips when driving to avoid rear-end collisions:
- Keep your distance. Stay at least three seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you. Extend the timing when the weather conditions are bad. This timing allows you to stop safely if you must brake suddenly.
- Do not get distracted. Do not take your eyes off the road to look at your phone, send a text, or eat. It only takes a second or less of not paying attention to rear-end another vehicle that has slowed down or braked suddenly.
- Do not drive when tired or under the influence. When you are tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol you have a much higher percentage of making driving errors, impaired decisions, or falling asleep at the wheel.
Accidents happen to the best of us, especially when you are backing out of a parking spot or your driveway. Because this maneuver puts you in a venerable position, it’s important to be extra careful and follow these tips:
Auto Accident Prevention Tips:
- Utilize your backup camera. Most cars these days are equipped with a backup camera. Make sure you are using it as you are backing up, but at the same time make sure you are still checking your blind spots through your rearview mirror, side mirrors, and by looking out your back window.
- Pull through parking spots. When possible, pull through a parking spot, so that when it is time to leave, you do not have to back out.
- Back into parking spots. If possible, back into a parking spot, so that when it is time to leave, you do not have to back out.
- Do not be distracted. When you are backing out of a driveway or parking spot, do not be distracted by your phone, your passengers, the music, etc.
- Back out slowly. Make sure you back out slowly, continually check traffic around you, use your mirrors, and back out using the shortest, most direct route if possible.
When a Car Accident Does Occur, Contact Mickey Keenan, P.A.
With 15 million Florida drivers on the road, it is not always possible to prevent a car accident, even if you are following all the proper precautions.
If you are injured during a car accident, make sure you contact the attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A. Our attorneys know how to help their clients receive maximum compensation while restoring their health and life. Call us today at 813-871-1300 for a free consultation.