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Keeping a Driving Journal to Reduce Your Likelihood of Getting into Another Car Accident

by | Sep 29, 2015

Perhaps a careless teenager texting on her cellphone veered into your lane, clipping your car; or maybe a pickup truck soared through an intersection and t-boned you, totaling your car and hurting your passengers. In either case, in addition to obtaining fair compensation, you want to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Driving is inherently an unpredictable activity. But by mindfully identifying your driving patterns and habits – and tracking them in a journal — you might reduce your risk of subsequent crashes.

Here are some principles for how to get started doing this.

  1. Write about all your driving trips, even the mundane ones (but obviously not while you’re behind the wheel!).

For instance, after you go to the grocery store or you come home from picking up the kids, spend two or three minutes noting the following:

  • Where you went;
  • What happened during the drive;
  • Anything unusual that occurred, such as a sudden stop or a feeling of fatigue or distraction.
  • In particular, note any “near misses” – moments when you almost got into an accident, encounters with dangerous drivers or annoying intersections or stretches of highway.
  1. Keep this log regularly for a few weeks.

You won’t have to “journal your driving” forever. Obviously, no working person has the time to analyze his or her every driving trip indefinitely. The point is that you’re trying to obtain good data on your typical driving patterns and habits.

  1. Once you have about two weeks’ worth of entries, review what you’ve written, and identify patterns and key observations.
  • When do you drive “at your best”?
  • What scary or negative incidents do you typically encounter?
  • Are there any stretches of road or intersections that bother you?
  • Are there any issues with your car that you’ve been ignoring?
  • What thoughts or actions typically distract you?
  1. Based on these insights, choose two or three things you can do or behaviors you can adapt that will make you a safer driver.

Maybe you’ll decide to bypass a harrowing intersection on the way to work. Perhaps you’ll cut down on optional trips after 9 p.m. because you’ve noticed that your alertness fades in the evening.

Such slight course corrections may not seem like a big deal, but car safety is a game of inches and milliseconds. A little extra reaction time can be the difference between a crash and a heart-pounding “near-miss.”

For help understanding what to do after a Phoenix car accident, call the Kelly Law Team at (602) 283-4122 for a confidential consultation.

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