You may get into your vehicle every day, drive the same route to work, and know every rule in the book when it comes to the safest driving practices. However, car accidents are unexpected events that can arise when those on the road fail to take the proper precautions they should. Having worked with injury victims for multiple decades, we know firsthand that even the safest drivers can become victims to negligent motorists.
We want to arm you with the information you need to stay safe. While no one can guarantee that these measures are a sure way to avoid a crash, these are just some of the ways that you can be a part of the solution to safer roads for all.
- CELL PHONES ARE FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY
One of the worst habits you can get into is using your phone behind the wheel. You may have done it before without any consequences, but it only takes one time and one split second for accidents to occur. You should only have your cell phone out for emergency purposes, such as to call 9-1-1 or report a drunk driver. To avoid the temptation of taking out your phone on the road, turn off the ringer and put it away so that you can focus your full attention on the task at hand.
- BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATS
If you’re trying to stay safe behinds the wheel, defensive driving is the way to go. This means that you should always be on the lookout for potential dangers and road hazards. Never fully rely on other drivers to follow the rules of the road. Instead, give yourself enough time and distance to brake, change direction, or maneuver however necessary to avoid a collision.
- AVOID BLIND SPOTS
Before hitting the road, always ensure that your side- and rear-view mirrors are properly adjusted so that you have a seamless view of your vehicle’s surroundings. However, you should not just rely on these views alone! When changing lanes, you should put your blinker on, check your mirrors, and then physically turn your body to ensure there are no vehicles or riders in your blind spots that remained undetected.
Additionally, stay mindful of other drivers’ blind spots as well, especially when it comes to big trucks. Try to avoid them or spend as little time as possible when you’re in a blind spot area.
- POSITION YOUR HANDS AND SEAT PROPERLY
Make sure you’re in a comfortable position in your seat and your hands are on the wheel in a way that allows you to turn easily without straining your body. You will have better control of your vehicle when your wrists are close enough to rest comfortably on top of the steering wheel with your arms stretched and back pressing against the seat.
- TRAIN FOR POOR WEATHER CONDITIONS
Driving through adverse weather conditions is much different than driving on dry pavement on a sunny day. Studies from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) show that 21% of all car crashes have weather conditions as a contributing factor.
If you have to drive during less-than-ideal weather conditions (in Mississippi, this often comes in the form of rain), you should always reduce your speed to prevent hydroplaning, increase your distance from the vehicle in front of yours, and keep your windshield wipers in tip-top shape.
- KNOW YOUR CAR
Every car has its limits and capabilities. Whether you’ve had your car for a long time or are new behind this particular wheel, you should ensure you know how it drives so you can take proper precautions when you’re sharing the road with others. For instance, if your car leans a lot when rounding corners or had extremely sensitive brakes, you can use this information to ensure you can maneuver properly.
- KEEP YOUR CAR WELL-MAINTAINED
Properly maintaining your vehicle is essential to both keeping it in good condition and functioning as it should. A vehicle that functions improperly risks your safety and that of other drivers, riders, and pedestrians. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and keep up with regular checkups, such as those for oil and fluid changes, windshield wipers, brakes, and lights.
- BE CAUTIOUS OF THE NIGHT
The chances of getting into serious auto accidents are much higher when driving at night compared to the daytime. In fact, data from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that while only a quarter of all driving is done at night, around 50% of all accidents occur during this time. Lack of visibility, fatigued drivers, and impaired drivers are just some of the hazards you may face when the sun goes down.
Try to limit time spent on the road at night and, when you do have to get behind the wheel during this time, make sure you use headlights, reduce your speed, and clean your windshield to reduce glare.
Helping Those Injured In Accidents Throughout Mississippi
We recognize that, even by taking all the right steps, car accidents can still happen because of other reckless, careless, or negligent drivers. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident in Mississippi, please know that you don’t have to go through this process alone.
At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, our attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that those injured obtain a financial recovery and those responsible are held liable. When clients come to us, it is our job to take care of the legal aspects of their case and their job to focus on healing the right way.
For 100 years of combined legal experience in your corner, contact our Mississippi car accident attorneys at (662) 222-0597. We are here to help you through your worst.