10 Ways to Avoid Getting in a Car Accident


When driving a car, you have a responsibility to protect yourself and others. That includes any passengers, people in other vehicles, and pedestrians. 

After all, you don’t want to become part of another auto accident statistic. In 2020, there were 35,766 car accidents in the US, in which 38,824 people died

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to avoid a car accident. But if you ever find yourself in one, be sure to hire an experienced auto accident lawyer to help you get the best settlement from your insurance and legal claims.

Now without further ado, here are 10 different ways to prevent a car accident (or to at least reduce the damage):

  • Avoid driving at night or in poor weather

Did you know that 50% of traffic deaths happen at night? That’s because it’s harder to see in the dark and you’re more likely to run into drunk drivers at night. 

So avoid driving at night if you can. If you can’t, stay extra alert and drive with caution.

The same goes for driving in bad weather. Fog, rain, snow, and hail make it hard to see. And the latter three also make the roads slicker.

So try to wait for the weather to pass before driving. Or at the very least, drive more slowly and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

  • Get rid of distractions

In 2020, 3,142 were killed as a result of distracted driving. Distractions could be talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, fidgeting with the GPS, adjusting audio and climate controls, doing your hair and makeup, or engaging too much with other passengers. 

All of this can wait. Don’t put your life and that of others at risk. If there’s an emergency and you need to make a phone call or send a text, pull over to do it. Otherwise, give your full attention to the road.

  • Never drive drunk or while on drugs

In the US, 32 people die every day in drunk-driving accidents. That’s one person every 45 minutes!

This is because alcohol slows down your reaction time, impairs your judgment, and generally hinders your ability to drive safely. 

The same goes for driving while on drugs. So avoid driving under the influence at all costs. Otherwise, you’re not only putting yourself and others at risk but you could go to jail, have your license revoked, and incur hefty fines.

  • Wear a seat belt

Out of all those killed in car accidents in 2020, 51% weren’t wearing seat belts. That means nearly 20,000 people’s lives could have been saved had they only been wearing one!

Whether you’re driving slow or fast, near or far, you should always wear a seat belt. Not only could it save your life but it’s the law. If you don’t wear one, you could get ticketed. 

  • Use your blinkers

Drivers who fail to use their turn signals account for 2 million car accidents every year

So use your blinkers anytime you turn or merge into another lane. This gives drivers behind you a heads up so they know not to pass or speed up. 

Using your turn signals is basic driving safety and required by law. So don’t get into the bad habit of neglecting this simple habit. 

  • Check your blind spots

In addition to using your blinkers, you should always check your blind spots before turning or merging. Unfortunately, side mirrors don’t capture everything. 

So always do a quick head turn after activating your turn signal and before turning the wheel—just to make sure nobody is in your blind spot.

  • Hold the steering wheel with both hands

As a rule, hold the steering wheel with both hands with your arms stretched out and your back against the seat.

This gives you maximum control over the car, which is important if you ever need to swerve to dodge a road obstacle or come to a quick stop.

  • Keep your car well maintained

It’s important to keep your car well maintained to avoid accidents as well. 

For example, don’t drive with worn-out tires. If the tread is fading and your tires are close to balding, you know it’s time to get new ones. Otherwise, you could have a tire blow out while you’re driving and cause an accident.

You also want to check your engine regularly. Make sure to give it frequent oil changes and to follow the car manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. 

If your car ever starts making strange noises, get it checked out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Stay out of the fast lane

Only use the fast lane if you need to pass other cars. Otherwise, you’re much safer in a middle lane for two reasons:

  1. You’ll drive slower. The risk of a car accident goes down at lower speeds.
  2. You have more “escape” options. If you need to dodge a road obstacle, you can swerve right or left (so long as the lanes are clear).
  •  Drive defensively

Lastly, drive defensively. This means you should do all of the following:

  • Drive slowly. The faster you drive, the higher your chances of getting in an accident and the more damaging it will be.
  • Stay out of other people’s blind spots. Don’t risk not being seen if you can help it.
  • Never assume how others will drive. People don’t always follow traffic laws. So it’s better to play it safe and check both directions at intersections, for example.
  • Keep a safe distance from other cars. You never know when the car ahead of you will slam on the breaks. So give yourself enough room to react.
  • Stay alert. Watch the road ahead so you can avoid hazards.

Driving defensively is all about anticipating dangerous situations and other drivers’ mistakes. Though driving aggressively might sound fun, it simply isn’t worth it when lives are at stake.

Final thoughts

Driving is inherently risky. But if you follow these tips, your chances of getting in a car accident go way down. 

So remember to put safety first and refer back to this list as a resource when you need it. Happy driving!

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