In 2019, 510 motor vehicle-related injuries occurred in the US every hour. That’s a staggering 12,240 injuries per day or close to 4.5 million injuries within the year! What’s even worse is that these injuries claimed the lives of more than 35,000 people.
Those figures should be enough of an eye-opener for all motorists out there.
The good news is that most accidents, including road collisions, are preventable.
So, whether you’re a new, young, or old driver, take the time to check out this car accident prevention guide.
You Can Drink or Drive But Not Both
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a ratio or percentage of alcohol present in the blood. For example, a BAC of 0.05% means that the blood supply contains 0.5 part alcohol for every 1,000 parts of blood.
In all states but Utah, the legal BAC is 0.08%. That’s because, in the Beehive State, the legal BAC limit is 0.05%. It’s been that way since the state implemented the change on December 30, 2018.
Utah’s move was smart, but unfortunately, it may not be enough to keep road users safe. After all, one standard alcoholic drink can already impair one’s driving abilities. In fact, research suggests that a BAC of 0.015% can already reduce some hand-eye coordination tasks by over 20%.
So, if you plan to have a few drinks after work, don’t take your car at all. Instead, have someone else who doesn’t drink take you home. Alternatively, you can have someone from your household pick you up, or you can take a cab or Uber back home.
Don’t Slip Behind the Wheel If You Feel Sleepy
Otherwise, you may end up sleeping and causing a road incident.
Now, you may think it’s ludicrous to fall asleep behind the wheel, but it does happen. In fact, in a survey of 150,000 people in the US, 4% admitted to having fallen asleep while driving.
Don’t Drive If You Feel Tired
If you didn’t get enough sleep, don’t think about car travel, much less long-distance travel. That’s because sleep deprivation can make you feel tired. Severe fatigue, in turn, can give rise to symptoms similar to those that occur when you’ve had too much to drink.
Those are the findings of a study conducted on 12 participants. According to the researchers, lack of sleep led to impaired brain activity. They also said that the exhausted neurons lacked strength and had slower activities.
What’s more, the researchers compared the effects to the brain of a tired driver. They said that in such instances, exhausted motorists might need more time to react. Unfortunately, though, that delayed reaction may be enough to cause an accident.
So, be a smart car owner and avoid driving if neither your brain nor your body is up to it. If you really need to head out, take a cab instead or have someone else from your household drive you.
Leave Your Phone in Your Bag
Texting while driving heightens your risk of getting involved in a collision by 23 times. On the other hand, making or answering calls while driving raises your crash risk by four times.
That’s why you should never use your phone while driving. If you need to send a text message, pick up a call, or make one, it’s best to pull over. Look for a safe spot to park before you take your phone out of your bag.
Mind Your Table Manners
According to this guide on how to treat whiplash, these injuries can occur due to a rear-ender. A rear-ender, in turn, can happen if you suddenly slam the brakes. As a result, the driver behind you won’t have enough time to brake.
One way that you could end up slamming your brakes is if you eat while driving.
That’s because this activity is a visual distraction, as it makes you take your eyes off the road. For starters, you’d have to look down at your food to remove its wrapper. For the same reason, eating is also a manual distraction, as it forces you to take your hands off the wheel.
The thing is, a pedestrian could have crossed the road while you were looking down at your food. It’s also possible the car in front of you slowed down because of a pedestrian. However, since you weren’t aware of these, then you could end up braking too hard to avoid crashing onto them.
So, avoid eating while driving. Instead, give your food the respect it deserves by enjoying it at a table, whether at home or in a restaurant.
Keep Your Ride in Tip-Top Condition
In 2019, the costs associated with vehicle ownership in the US amounted to $9,282. That signifies a whopping increase of almost 5% from the previous year.
Granted, much of that yearly cost had to do with fuel costs, which averaged 11.6 cents per mile. However, a good chunk also went to maintenance expenses, averaging 8.94 cents per mile.
So, it’s no surprise that many car owners tend to delay crucial vehicle maintenance to cut costs.
That’s one habit you should never pick up, though, as it can lead to vehicle malfunctions in the middle of a busy road. Worse, if your ride suddenly breaks down or stalls, it can cause multiple car accidents. Another possibility is brake failure, which can then lead to you hitting another car or a person.
Thus, always stick to your ride’s recommended maintenance schedules. You should also replace worn-out parts, such as brake pads and tires, without delay.
Always Abide by These Car Accident Prevention Tactics
Car accident prevention should always be your top priority as a vehicle owner. It’s not only for your own good; it’s also your duty as someone who enjoys the privilege of driving. Besides, you don’t want to find yourself in the hospital, much less be the cause of someone’s else injuries.
Interested in more safety tips and travel hacks like this? Have a look at our extensive collection of informative guides then!