Traffic accidents claim thousands of lives every year in the United States. In Arizona alone, there were 109,554 traffic accidents in 2014. Of those accidents, 35,802 occurred in Phoenix. In order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of dangerous driving and learn how to avoid traffic accidents in Phoenix and everywhere else you travel.
How to Avoid Traffic Accidents
There are many steps you can take to avoid traffic accidents and keep yourself and your passengers safe. Here are some ways to avoid trouble on the road.
- Stay Out of the Left Lane. While many drivers use the left lane to get around slower traffic, it’s always a good idea to avoid the left lane when possible. The right or middle lanes give you more options to pull off the road, whether it’s your vehicle or another car that has trouble.
- Continually Scan Ahead. It goes without saying that you should keep your eyes on the road, but it’s even better if you scan the area ahead of you and ahead of the cars in front of you. When you scan a few cars ahead, you can spot problems while you still have time to respond to them.
- Watch for Blind Spots. While mirrors give you a fairly good view of the areas beside and behind you, they aren’t perfect. Be sure to double-check blind spots before changing lanes or exiting. Also, be aware of the blind spots of the vehicles around you and take care not to drive in them for longer than necessary.
- Watch for Danger Signs. If a car or truck near you is swerving, hitting the brakes frequently, has loose cargo, or has bare or wobbly tires, then there’s significant danger of an accident. Avoid a car that is being reckless, as it is a sign of a distracted or drowsy driver. If you witness severe reckless driving, consider calling 911 to report the driver.
- Maintain Control of the Wheel. While many drivers like to rest just one hand on the top or bottom of the wheel, it’s much safer have your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock position. This grip allows you to react quickly and effectively in case of danger, whether it’s another driver, an animal in the road, or ice or weather.
How to Prevent Being the Cause of an Accident
Beyond observing and avoiding other dangerous drivers, you can help prevent traffic accidents by not being the cause of one. Here are several ways to avoid causing a traffic accident.
- Don’t Drive Tired. Most drivers would never dare to drive drunk, but the reality is that fatigue causes many of the same results on your body. Your reaction time slows, your reasoning isn’t as strong, and you’re not alert. Avoid driving tired, and you can avoid being the cause of a serious accident.
- Don’t Text and Drive. We’ve all heard about the dangers of texting and driving, but it continues to happen at an alarming rate. You may feel that you aren’t driving dangerously, but the reality is that ANYONE texting and driving is dangerous. Don’t cause a traffic accident by texting and driving.
- Keep Children Quiet and Occupied. Distracted driving can also occur when children are rowdy or causing problems in the back seat. While you may certainly feel the need to discipline and keep them from causing trouble, doing so while driving can cause a traffic accident. Arranging for children to be quiet and occupied in advance is key, using busy books, toys, movies or games. If they become unruly, pull over prior to interacting with them.
Traffic accidents happen every day, but by taking these steps you can reduce your chances of being involved in one. If you are involved in a traffic accident in Phoenix despite your efforts, it’s important to make sure your rights are protected. We’re here to help. For more information, visit my website or call me at 602-212-0202 for a consultation.