By DCB Editorial, September 1, 2022
The country saw fatal accidents rise in 2022, a pattern that is becoming more than just a little concerning. After a lull in 2020 due to the pandemic, car accident fatalities spiked in both 2021 and 2022, and the situation only seems to be getting worse. If you’re like most people, you have to drive at least some of the time. So, how can you avoid becoming a car accident statistic? Here are some tips.
Wear Your Seat Belt
The simple task of wearing your seatbelt every time you get into a moving car can save your life in even the worst automobile accidents. Most states require everyone in a car to buckle up anyway, but it’s an easy law to ignore if you’re not being safety conscious.
When you’re not restrained in a car, you’re leaving yourself exposed to major injuries or death because you’re either going to be ejected entirely from the vehicle, or you’re going to be bounced around the interior of the car. Either way, your body can’t handle that kind of trauma very well. Seat belts prevent fatalities, so wear yours all the time, every time.
Obey the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the top factors in traffic fatalities because the fast you’re going, the more severe the crash. It’s just a matter of physics, but people are still in a hurry wherever they go, so they don’t tend to think of the consequences of going even just a little bit over the speed limit.
Keep in mind that engineers have studied the roads you’re driving on to determine the proper speed limit for the area. They know what a safe speed is and it isn’t five or 10 miles over what is posted. You might not get pulled over by a police officer for going a few miles over the limit, but with each tick of the speedometer, you’re increasing your risk of dying in a traffic accident.
Maintain Your Car Properly
Keeping your car in top condition will go a long way in increasing your safety on the road. For example, buying new tires when the old ones wear out will prevent you from having a blowout on the highway. Tire blowouts often cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle, and when they’re driving at highway speeds, this loss of control can result in rollovers and other major car accidents.
Another car maintenance tip is to make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and can clear your windshield when it’s raining or snowing. When you can’t see out of your windshield, you’re putting yourself and everyone on the road with you at risk. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, be sure to replace your wiper blades before the first major snowfall is expected. If you live in a rainy area, change your wiper blades whenever they start to leave streaks across the glass.
You’ll never be entirely safe on the roads in the U.S. or anywhere else for that matter. But, you can take these practical steps to make yourself, and your passengers, as safe as possible.