Sun, surf, sand, Disney, and the Everglades. From north to south, east to west, Florida has it all. Driving to your favorite places should be a fun, pleasant, and safe experience. With so many miles of roads and tons of vehicles, you’ll want to get to your destination hazard-free.
Unfortunately, not all drivers are cautious and careful. To get from A to B in one piece, there are several strategies that you can use to prevent car accidents. If you’ve been involved in a fender bender or something more severe, contact a Miami car accident lawyer to learn if you’re entitled to compensation.
- Ensure Your Vehicle Is Safe to Operate
To drive safely, your vehicle needs to be fully functional. To ensure the safe operation of yours, proper regular vehicle maintenance is essential. Improperly inflated tires can cause dangerous blowouts that could lead to an accident. Worn, old, or unbalanced tires could also produce the same result.
Your vehicle’s brakes are equally important. Replace brake pads and rotors when necessary. The ability to stop your car quickly could be the difference between a pleasant ride and an accident. Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape is the best way to ensure you can avoid accidents due to maintenance issues or mechanical breakdowns.
- Don’t Drive Impaired
This should go without saying, but driving impaired is never a good idea. This not only includes driving under the influence of alcohol but also marijuana. Certain doctor-prescribed medications can also cause impaired driving. That beer or glass of wine with lunch or dinner might be tasty, but it could slow your reaction time and decrease your hand-eye coordination. If out with friends, always choose a designated driver.
- Drive Defensively
A key strategy for safer driving to avoid accidents, material damages and serious injuries is to drive defensively. Constantly scan the road for potential dangers. When driving on highways at higher speeds, always be prepared for what other drivers could do and have a plan for how to avoid a collision. If possible, give yourself plenty of space so that if you need to do a quick maneuver, you have room to do so.
If you’re in a situation where you have an aggressive driver in your midst, one who is darting in and out of lanes, don’t let your ego cause you to play the same games they’re playing. Slow down and let them go on their way. Being cut off by a dangerous driver isn’t a cause for retaliation.
- Avoid Distracted Driving
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that there are approximately 56,000 accidents each year on Florida roads that were caused by distracted driving. Their causes are many, but many are attributed to cell phone use while driving.
If you receive a text message while driving, don’t take the time to check or respond to it. If it’s a necessity, find a safe place to pull over and then do what you need to do. If you have a passenger, allow them to be in charge of checking and responding to text messages. It’s your job to drive. If you can resist checking your phone every time it bings, consider switching it to “Do Not Disturb” or turning it off.
- Be Aware and Share the Road
Being aware of other drivers on the road is a great way to avoid accidents. But there are other things to be on the lookout for when driving. Pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycles also share the road with drivers and it’s important to keep an eye out for them as well as your fellow drivers. Give bicyclists plenty of room when passing and be alert when driving in cities for pedestrians who could unexpectedly pop out into crosswalks.
- Use Your Turn Signals
Your vehicle’s turn signals provide valuable information to other drivers. Alerting other drivers of your intentions is a way to keep everyone safe. Whether making an obvious turn at an intersection or changing lanes on the highway, it’s vital that you signal what you’re going to do. Even if you don’t see any other vehicles on the road and feel that it’s silly to use your blinker, do it anyway. There could be a vehicle or pedestrian that you don’t see.
Strategies for Safer Driving Explained
It should be of the utmost importance to do everything possible to prevent or avoid car crashes. Following the rules of the road, being alert, and ensuring that your vehicle is safe to operate are all smart strategies to keep everyone safe.