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How to avoid car accidents

by | Apr 28, 2015

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATry as we might, it is impossible to eliminate entirely the risk of getting into a car accident.  No matter how careful you are, no matter how well you practice defensive driving, there are circumstances, like having your vehicle struck from behind while stopped at a traffic light, that are simply beyond your control.  On the other hand, if the goal is to cut down the chances of getting into a car crash, there are steps all of us can take to increase the safety factor when we drive.  Consumer Reports tells us that they’ve identified a half dozen tips that will make your driving safer, and that will make it less likely that you’ll be one of the unfortunate people who will be involved in a collision.  Here’s what they have to say:

  • Don’t drink and drive.  Sure, it’s a no-brainer, but accidents involving drunk driving and drugged driving are all too common.
  • Don’t text and drive.  The jury is still out on the precise scope of the consequences of texting and driving, but looking at your phone, playing with your navigation system, and even talking to your friends who are passengers in your car can all lead to distractions, which in turn cause car accidents.
  • It’s not a race.  If you observe the speed limits, you may get there a bit later than if you speed, but it will increase the chances that you will get where you’re going, and not end up in a fender bender, or worse.  Speed affects breaking distances, and your ability to navigate turns, among other things.  It is estimated that about 30% of fatal traffic accidents involve speeding.
  • Be careful in parking lots.  Parking lots are not race courses.  Children and adults may appear from behind parked vehicles giving you little time to stop, so slow down and take extra care when you’re in a lot.
  • Choose a car that gets high safety marks.  Some cars are known for their reliability and safety features.  These are both factors that can reduce the risk of a crash, as well as the consequences (such as a rollover) that may result from a collision.
  • Newer cars have advanced safety systems.  In the last few years, new cars have come equipped with safety systems that were not standard in previous years.  These include stability control, front-end collision safety features, and others.  These systems can lessen the chance of a collision, or reduce the severity of a crash.

So while you can’t control the way other people drive, there are steps each of us can take to make our driving safer for ourselves, our passengers, and others on the road.


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