You might think you are a reasonably safe and experienced driver, but there could be seemingly harmless things you do every time you drive that increase your risk of a car accident.
All of us get in a hurry, get distracted, or make poor judgment calls that put ourselves and others at risk on the road. Knowing how to avoid some common unsafe driving practices can make all the difference!
Below you’ll find 7 daily driving practices that you can make a habit to decrease your risk of serious car accident injuries in Pittsburgh.
Safe habit #1: Never drink and drive.
- Now, this might seem obvious and you might think you have never been guilty of drunk driving. But did you know that even having one drink can impair your ability to drive safely? Drinking and driving doesn’t mean you are staggering to your car, dropping your keys, and almost passing out before getting behind the wheel. Drinking and driving can mean you feel totally fine and unaffected by the alcohol. Just a little alcohol can go a long way when it comes to hindering your ability to drive safely. According to experts at WebMD, no amount of alcohol is safe for driving. Not only does drinking and driving put the safety of yourself and others at great risk, but it also puts you at risk of very serious legal consequences. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you drink, ask a friend to drive or request an Uber!
Safe habit #2: Always wear a seatbelt.
- Again, this might seem obvious. But how many times do you take off your seatbelt while driving to remove a sweater or reach for something in your car? Car accidents can come out of nowhere and you want to always be prepared! According to the CDC, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45% and reduce the risk of serious injury by 50%.
Safe habit #3: Assume someone will run a red light.
- This is a little less intuitive. If you stop at a red light, shouldn’t other drivers? Unfortunately, over two people are killed every day on U.S. roads because impatient and reckless drivers run red lights, says AAA. Drive defensively by anticipating someone breaking the law by running a red light. After your light turns green, look in every direction before proceeding through an intersection.
Safe habit #4: Never take both hands off the wheel while driving.
- How many times have you taken both hands off the wheel to eat, put sugar in your coffee, apply makeup, or even dance along to a song? Maintaining control of your vehicle is essential to avoiding accidents.
Safe habit #5: Always be scanning 12 seconds ahead.
- Concentrating your attention on the area you’ll be covering within the next 12 seconds helps give you time to swerve, stop, or slow down as necessary to avoid an accident.
Safe habit #6: Never tailgate!
- Do you tailgate because you’re in a hurry or because the driver in front of you is driving too slow for your preferences? Always leave a 3-second space between you and the car in front of you. You can follow the 3-second rule by picking a landmark such as a sign or tree. After the car in front of you has passed the landmark, count how many seconds it takes for you to pass the same marker. If it’s less than 3 seconds, you need to slow down and allow more space. And if you have a bad habit of tailgating because you’re impatient, then start a new habit of leaving a few minutes early so you won’t be worried about making up time.
Safe habit #7: Be patient and pay attention when pulling into traffic.
- There’s no such thing as rush hour when it comes to safely merging into traffic! Always take your time, even if the car behind you is getting impatient or honking at you. Wait until you are confident that it’s safe to merge or turn into traffic. Remember the rule of “stop, look, and listen” before entering traffic. Pay attention to the blind spots of other vehicles – especially large trucks, and always look twice!
It’s up to all of us to make our roads safer. But accidents still happen. If you were injured because of another driver’s negligence or reckless driving behavior in Pittsburgh, you’re protected under personal injury law. The personal injury attorneys at Scanlon & Wojton, LLC can help you prove the other driver’s fault and support you along every step of the way in your case. Claim the compensation you’re entitled to after your car accident injuries! Contact Scanlon & Wojton, LLC: Attorneys at Law by calling (412) 918-1241 or messaging us online.
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304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, PA, 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241