Protecting your passengers always needs to be a top priority as a driver. However, when those passengers are your family, that priority is necessary. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent a major car accident from occurring on the road. Learning how to avoid a car accident while driving starts with learning what the common causes of those accidents are.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
With over 42,000 people dying in car accidents on a yearly basis, on average, it’s important to learn how to spot the signs of a car accident before it occurs. The most common causes of accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving such as speeding or violating traffic rules
- Driving while drowsy
- Hazards in the road that cause drivers to react dangerously
- Heavy rainfall or blizzards
Each of the above can cause a car accident to occur, which is why learning how to protect yourself and your family is so important if you come across one of the above. In the event of an accident, don’t forget that you can’t just leave the wreck scene, even if you didn’t cause it. Many people often wonder what happens if you don’t report an accident within 24 hours, whether to the police or insurance, and the answer is that there are legal ramifications you may need to handle.
5 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe on the Road
Staying safe on the road is about more than just identifying the common causes of car accidents. The following five tips can help you protect your family while driving around town:
Follow the 12-second and 3-second rule for driving
As a driver, you should always follow the three and twelve-second rules of the road. First and foremost, the three-second rule of driving refers to leaving three seconds of space between you and the car in front of you. Measure this by waiting for a car in front of you to pass a landmark on the road, and then see how long it takes you to reach that point.
Secondly, the twelve-second driving rule refers to scanning the road ahead by at least twelve seconds. This helps ensure that all drivers have ample time to see anything, whether traffic or hazards, that appears on the road ahead of them.
Take care of preventative maintenance on your car.
By handling preventative maintenance on your vehicle, you can spot major issues before they occur in your vehicle. Most vehicles come with a maintenance schedule outlined by the manufacturer, but getting a checkup every 10,000-15,000 miles is a good rule of thumb.
Avoid driving in poor weather conditions.
Poor weather conditions are a prevalent cause of car accidents out on the road. Unless you have extensive experience driving in heavy snow, rain, or other extreme weather conditions, you should wait until the skies clear before hitting the road.
Be a defensive driver rather than an offensive driver.
While all drivers can be frustrated or annoyed while out on the road, becoming an offensive driver is dangerous for you and others. To that end, focus on acting defensively while driving and watch as many other cars as possible. If you see someone driving recklessly ahead of you, give them a wide berth to avoid a possible collision.
Limit interactions with your family in the car as a driver.
While family road trips or going to the grocery store with your family can be entertaining, it’s best not to get too distracted by the passengers in your vehicle. Whether it be your child trying to show you something interesting on your phone or the front-seat passenger asking for GPS advice, avoid all interactions that may take your eyes off the road in front of you.
Stay safe on the roadways today
Keeping you and your family safe while driving out on the road is about being defensive. Be aware of the common causes of car accidents to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous position that could cause an accident. Beyond this, use the above five tips to protect your vehicle and passengers from the possibility of an accident.