When was the last time you got in a car accident? Based on car insurance industry estimates, the average American driver files a claim once every 18 years. This means if you got your license at 16, odds are you’ll be involved in at least one accident by the time you’re 34. Typical drivers experience three to four car crashes in their lifetime ranging from parking lot fender benders to multi-car pileups on the freeway.
Want to beat the odds? Just follow these 10 tips from Scott’s Fort Collins Auto to avoid getting in a car accident for yet another year.
Never Drive Drunk
Based on statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,000 people are killed every year in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in the US. Don’t drink and drive, and watch out for other drivers who might be under the influence of alcohol.
Put Your Cell Phone Away
Of all the driving distractions, using your cell phone is among the worst. It takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the steering wheel, and your mind off what you’re doing. Don’t make calls, send texts, or update social media while driving.
Use Your Turn Signal
Have you ever been annoyed by a driver braking in front of you for seemingly no reason, only for the car to turn at the last moment? Neglecting to use your blinker isn’t just annoying—it can cause accidents. Make sure you let other drivers around you know what you’re doing by signaling before you turn or change lanes.
Stop on Red
This tip seems obvious, but running red lights is a major cause of roadway injuries and fatalities every year. It’s not worth making it to your destination a minute or two earlier—stop on red and don’t gun it through yellow if you want to avoid getting in a car accident this year.
Drive the Speed Limit
When you’re in a rush, the most logical thing to do is push down a little harder on the gas pedal. Going one or two miles per hour over the speed limit isn’t likely to cause an accident, but the US Department of Transportation states that significant speeding is a factor in about 30 percent of fatal car crashes in the US each year.
Always keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. Tailgating is dangerous because if the driver suddenly slams on the brakes, you might not have enough time to stop. The faster you’re going, the further back you should follow.
Drive Defensively, Not Aggressively
Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing. Respond defensively, not aggressively. This means holding your position on the road, not swerving and honking to pass a slow driver. It also means keeping your distance from erratic drivers instead of challenging them.
Pay Attention to Road Conditions
If the weather is bad, consider postponing or canceling your outing. If you must drive in stormy conditions, remember to accelerate slowly, brake early, decrease your maximum speed, and increase your following distance.
Keep Road Rage in Check
It’s easy to lose your temper on the road, which can make you drive unsafely. Aim to keep your feelings of annoyance and anger in check to help you avoid getting in a car accident.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Some accidents are no one’s fault. Sometimes, the car blows a tire, the brakes go out, a belt snaps, or the engine overheats at just the wrong moment. To prevent an emergency that could cause an accident, keep up with recommended car maintenance throughout the year.
Let Scott’s Help You Avoid Getting in a Car Accident
Our expert team of mechanics can perform the maintenance and repairs you need to keep your car safe and decrease the likelihood of getting in an accident. To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (970) 682-4202 today.