Close to 6 million vehicle accidents occur in the U.S. each year–and about 22% are weather-related.
Now consider that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that human error is responsible for between 94% and 96% of all vehicle accidents. If you combine inclement weather and driver mistakes, you can end up with a lot of vehicular mayhem.
The good news is that modern technology finding its way into modern cars can reduce accidents caused by human error. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you’ll want to consider some available safety technologies that can cut down on human error mishaps.
But it’s important to remember that technology alone won’t keep you and others safe on the road. Continue reading to learn about 5 ways to stay safe behind the wheel.
1. Safety Technology
Many modern cars come with many safety systems that can keep you and others safe on the road. One feature to consider is automatic emergency braking. If you have a car with this feature, sensors will determine if you’re on the verge of a collision. The car will automatically–and without your intervention–apply the brakes.
You’ll be able to avoid crashing into another vehicle, a pedestrian, or an object. Features like blind-spot monitoring, automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning, traffic sign detection, and other safety systems also make sense. While it’s your responsibility to operate your vehicle safely, it doesn’t hurt to have safety tech that helps to reduce human error-related accidents.
2. Maintain Your Vehicle
This one might seem obvious. But you might be surprised by how many people don’t do simple things like changing the engine oil and oil filters. It’s also vital to ensure your tires are in good shape and properly inflated. Preventative maintenance will help you avoid many issues and lessen the frequency of repairs. If your vehicle is not functioning correctly, you are more likely to get into trouble on the road.
3. Stay Off Your Phone
Fatal crashes that were the result of cell phone use added up to 2,880 in 2020. The percentage of fatal distraction-related collisions involving cell phone use was 14% in 2020. It goes without saying that you’ll be safer if you avoid using your phone when behind the wheel. If you need to use your phone for whatever reason, pull over in a secure location, turn off your car, and then call or text as required.
4. Stay Away from Problem Areas
Are there parts of your town–like busy intersections or one-way streets–where there’s a higher than average rate of accidents? If this is the case, you might avoid these areas whenever possible. Perhaps there are times of the day or days of the week when such areas aren’t too busy with vehicles and pedestrians. Otherwise, you might want to avoid such sites to reduce your risks of getting into an accident or raising your blood pressure.
5. Wear Your Seat Belts
According to one source, the national seat belt use in 2020 was 90.3%. If you’re part of the majority, great. But if you’re part of the minority who haven’t gotten the memo stating that seat belts save lives, you had better start buckling up, whether you’re a driver or a passenger. You’re more likely to die or get injured in an accident if you’re not wearing a seat belt. If you get into an accident while not wearing a seat belt, you might have to call a personal injury lawyer.
As you can see, there are different things you can do to remain safe when behind the wheel. There’s no silver bullet solution. But keeping these 5 tips in mind will help you stay safe on the road.