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The Truth About Avoiding Car Accidents

In driver’s ed class you’re taught about defensive driving; how to look out for other drivers coming at you. However, defensive driving is not all it takes to avoid a car accident.

Texas Car Accident Statistics

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 35.54% of motor vehicle related fatalities in 2015 happened with one single car running off the road. Also in state of Texas, more than half of the state’s traffic fatalities are in rural areas. There were 1,925 deaths by rural traffic crashes in 2015.

Tips For Avoiding Car Accidents

Be an Aware Motorist

At intersections, look both ways. Even if you have the right of way, another car might be running the light or stop sign. Keep an eye out for cars coming out of driveways or side streets. They might have an obstructed line of a sight or are just plain impatient.

Make sure you check that blind spot. Looking in your mirrors does not cut it. Turn your head to see if there is a car right beside you or even two lanes over because they might try to take the same spot as you.

Don’t Drive Drunk or High

Do not drive while impaired. Whether it is alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs or your state of mind; it can all affect your ability to drive. Take a break if you are tired. Have someone else drive if you are even a little buzzed or have taken any medication. If you can’t find someone else to drive your car, then someone can drive you in a bus or taxi.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Keep your car maintained. If you go a collision repair facility, the crashed cars have bald tires. Check your tire tread and pressure regularly. The Houston heat during the summer will expand your tires so keep them under the maximum tire pressure. Check your fluid levels regularly. If you do break down, get to the shoulder but don’t panic as you do.

Be Watchful When Driving

Watch for animals crossing the road. Use your high beams when there is no cars coming the other way to get a full view of the sides of the road at night. Watch for slow moving vehicles such as tractors. Pass only when the yellow line is dotted and make sure to look all the way down the road when passing.

Keep your own headlights on during the day if you are on a two lane highway so a car passing coming the other way can see you. Most accidents happen when it is a clear day but remember the road is the most slippery right as it starts raining. Slow down and avoid puddles to not hydroplane. If you do hydroplane, do not brake and keep the wheel straight.

When it’s foggy, slow down but don’t stop. Keep an eye out for the lights ahead of you.

The tips mentioned here are the common occurrences that if you keep them in your mind, you should have a safe and fun driving experience.

Recommended Resources

Texas Department of Transportation: http://www.txdot.gov/
Driver’s Ed: https://driversed.com/
Fatality Analysis Reporting System: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/

Published inTexas Matters