Every day, there are thousands of car accidents, caused by a wide range of actions and many of which are avoidable. That’s little comfort to those who are injured or even those facing damages from a single-car incident. With proper education and vigilance, however, many people can learn better driving habits and reduce the likelihood they’ll be found at fault if they are in an accident.
Watch You Speed
Speeding is one of the most common driving violations, an unsurprising fact given how people drive on highways. Unfortunately, driving too quickly can make it more likely that the driver will lose control of the vehicle, run a red light, or otherwise put fellow drivers in danger. High-speed collisions can also be harder for victims to reconstruct, making it more difficult to determine who was at fault, as well as more likely you’ll need a lawyer to handle your car accident claim.
Pay Close Attention
Another common driving infraction, but one that’s harder to clearly define, is distracted driving. That’s because distracted driving includes a wide range of behaviors, including obvious forms of distraction like using your cell phone and more subtle activities like eating a snack or daydreaming, such that your mind is no longer focused on the road. Distracted driving is one of the biggest issues facing drivers today, particularly since supposedly safe features like voice-to-text technology still constitute a form of distraction.
Substance Use Behind The Wheel
Everyone knows that you shouldn’t drink and drive, but because so many states have changed their laws around marijuana use, police have seen a growing number of accidents involving individuals who are high behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many drivers are unaware that this can lead to DUI charges, notes Rowdy Williams. “These drivers may even have a medical marijuana card, and they may not have been advised that they shouldn’t use product containing cannabis when driving. This lack of professional advice doesn’t mean such behavior is safe or legal, however.”
Like alcohol, cannabis products can substantially slow a driver’s reflexes. As such, they’re much more likely to be involved in and found at fault for an accident.
Knowing When To Stop
Drivers are obviously supposed to stop are red lights and stop signs, but they also need to stop for school buses and pedestrians as appropriate. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to do so, often because they’re in a hurry or they are unfamiliar with local right-of-way laws. In general, though, it’s always best for drivers to give pedestrians extra leeway if they’re uncertain about the right thing to do, so long as this won’t endanger other drivers. Most importantly, though, drivers must always stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading children.
While some driving infractions, such as tailgating, seem more like bad motorist manners than legal issues, the fact is that poor behavior on the road puts everyone at risk. That means even the most mundane actions – things we witness every day like risky passing – may be subject to legal sanctions. If you stay abreast of local laws and act with an abundance of caution, however, you can keep yourself and others safe.