Automobile accidents occur roughly once every 60 seconds in the United States. While some of these accidents are minor, others are more severe -- or even deadly. The good news is that drivers can reduce their risk of getting in an accident by following these auto safety tips.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Regular maintenance is critical to keeping your vehicle in safe, working order. Refer to your owner's manual for more information on what services your car needs and when. This may include changing the engine oil, changing the transmission fluid, flushing the coolant, replacing the timing belt, replacing the spark plugs, etc.
Don't Text and Drive
Smartphones have revolutionized the way in which we communicate, but they've also increased the number of distracted-driving automobile accident. According to a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving increases the risk of an accident by 2300%. So put away your smartphone and focus on the road when you're behind the wheel.
Use Caution When Changing Lanes
Improper lane changing is a serious hazard that can place motorists at risk for injury. In addition to using your turning signal, check your blind spot before changing lane to ensure it's clear.
Don't Drive When Fatigued
Studies have shown that fatigued drivers have reaction times that are comparable to being under the influence of alcohol. When you don't get enough sleep, your brain will respond more slowly. This can create a dangerous scenario when you're behind the wheel, as those critical seconds in delay could result in an accident. If you are fatigued, pull over at the nearest rest stop and take a nap.
Create a Roadside Emergency Kit
Hopefully, you'll never find yourself broken down on the side of the road. But if you do, you need an emergency kit on hand. Here are some items to include in your roadside emergency kit:
- Tire patch kit
- Tire iron
- Road flares
- Flashlight with extra set of batteries
- Reflective vest
- Bottle of 50/50 coolant-antifreeze mix
- Roll of electrical tape
- Roll of duct tape
Driving around with auto insurance is just asking for trouble. Aside from the fact that it's illegal in all 50 states, other drivers could sue you if you cause an accident. The bottom line is that you should never get behind the wheel without insurance.
These are just a few tips to reduce the risk of an automobile accidents.