You know all the basic safety driving tips. However, with more and more drivers on the road, and many of them distracted by smartphones, you need to use a few tips to avoid a car accident. Here are three we recommend.
1. Use a Hands-Free Device for Your Phone and Pull Over to Text
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly 660,000 drivers in the US are simultaneously driving and using electronic devices at any given time. The administration also reports that 16 percent of all police-reported car accidents are caused by wireless phone distractions. Distracted drivers killed 3,179 people and injured 431,000 in 2014.
Currently, the State of Missouri doesn’t have a law against talking on the phone or using a cell phone while driving. It is, however, illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to text and drive.
To avoid the temptation to respond to a text, email, or app notification while you drive, regulate your cell phone use to live phone calls. Use headphones with a built-in microphone to talk, and pull over to send a text. If you find that you’re chronically slipping up and texting while you drive, make a personal rule to put your phone on airplane mode.
2. Monitor Your Tires and Brakes and Get Them Repaired as Needed
Your tires and brakes can help avoid an accident. Unfortunately, tires go bald, the tire pressure gets low, and the brakes wear down. These minor signs of wear and tear can compound over time, putting you at risk for crashing into another vehicle.
Start with your tires. Check your tire pressure and fill up your tires with air if they’re low. Bring your car into a local tire repair shop, and get the tread checked. A mechanic at the shop can diagnose how much tread your tires have and how long you have to replace them. During this visit, your mechanic may recommend rotating your tires. This service balances the wear your tires sustain and can help prevent tire blowouts.
Clean your brakes regularly. They collect dust, which prevents them from effectively slowing your car. In addition to this maintenance, get your brakes serviced and replaced as needed. Do not delay any brake repair, as it puts you at tremendous risk.
3. Maintain Your Headlights and Taillights
Driving at night puts you more at risk for an accident than any other time. To mitigate that risk, ensure you have working headlights and taillights. If you have broken or burnt out lights, replace them.
Headlights, in particular, get dirty, become oxidized, and turn cloudy. Though the police might not pull you over for dirty lights, you might not see clearly in the dark. Many repair shops offer professional headlight cleaning to reduce oxidation and help you see better.
Review these techniques to help you prevent a collision. If you get into an accident, contact the police as soon as possible. File a police report and give your insurance the contact information of the police and the other party involved. Make sure you also collect the other party’s insurance information and the police report number. Depending on the kind of collision you got into, you may require legal representation to negotiate a settlement, represent you at trial, or otherwise enforce and protect your rights.
In Jefferson County, MO, the Lowry Law Firm offer these services and the legal counsel you need when you deal with insurance companies. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys or to receive legal representation for your car accident case.