As personal injury attorneys who handle a number of serious accident claims during the course of any given year, we see firsthand the terrible toll that wrecks have on our community. According to the State of West Virginia, over 24,000 people per year are killed or injured on West Virginia highways. This means that, on average, one person is killed every day and someone is injured every 20 minutes.
While no one can completely eliminate risk when they get behind the wheel, there are certain things that drivers can do to help reduce their risk of being involved in a serious accident.
Here are 7 great tips for being safer on the road:
- Avoid driving at night. Not only is it harder to see at night, but there also are other dangers such as more drunk drivers on the road.
- Scan ahead. Sure, it makes sense to keep an eye on the vehicle that is directly in front of you, but if you can scan the road ahead of that vehicle as well, you may be able to avoid a problem if it develops.
- Watch out for damaged vehicles. Check out the condition of cars around you. A car with lots of body damage could be an indicator of a possible inattentive driver.
- Keep your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions of the steering wheel. This allows for maximum control of the vehicle.
- Stay out of the far left lane. Most highway accidents occur in the “fast lane,” plus you have fewer options to avoid a wreck if one occurs while you’re in the left lane.
- Watch your blind spots. While it’s important to use your side mirrors, don’t rely solely on them. Turn your head to look into the lane next to you when changing lanes.
- Don’t drive distracted. Eating, talking/texting on a cell phone, applying makeup, reading, checking your GPS, having four or more people in a car, etc., can all be distractions that can cause an accident.