A car accident, even the proverbial one you walk away from, is never a good thing. Between moving violations and fines, higher insurance rates, downtime while awaiting repairs, and the possibility of injuries or death, accidents are far too costly. Fortunately, they’re never inevitable when you take precautions long before your hands touch the steering wheel. To help you get started on the road to safety, here are some surefire ways to prevent getting into a car accident.
Maintain Your Vehicle
A huge number of accidents would simply never happen if everyone took the time to bring in their car for regular maintenance. It’s one of those situations where a minor thing prevents a major problem down the line. Keeping your car clean and shiny means it stands out more on the road, your headlights are brighter, your wheels and undercarriage are free from grime that can affect performance, and so on. Checking your brakes and replacing the pads guarantees greater braking ability, and ensuring every important fluid is assessed, clean, topped off, or replaced means a smoother running engine. Having your wheels inspected especially staves off blowouts, flats, and other hazardous incidents that can lead to a major crash. Keep your car in top shape.
Keep Your Cool, but Not Too Cool
Nothing a risky driver does is good for them, their car, or reaching their destination. Consider driving an exercise in patience and meditation. Don’t speed or slam on the brakes, tailgate, or tarry in the fast lane. Aggression has its place in competition and debate, but you’re not in a race so don’t bring it with you behind the wheel. At the same time, keep alert and on top of your game by getting enough sleep before you drive (drowsy driving causes an incredible number of accidents) and never operate a vehicle under the influence.
Consider the Conditions
Certain circumstances always raise the likelihood of a crash or collision. At times like these decide whether it’s worth going out. Night driving, especially in a pitch-black area is always extra dangerous. Likewise, it’s also dangerous to drive when the rain falls, the snow flurries, or the fog rolls in. The weather and roads also occasionally work together to create other hazards like black ice, blinding blizzards, and slick roads. If you have to go somewhere in these conditions, take extra steps to drive slower, be more alert to other vehicles, and plan the safest route, avoiding rough roads, construction, and the like.
Want to know one of the best ways to prevent getting into a car accident? Before firing up the engine and backing out the driveway, ask yourself—is this trip necessary? If it is, ask if there’s a safer way to get there that’s also less costly and harmful to the environment. You may be surprised at how much money and time you can save by choosing public transport. You can’t steer a train, but you also aren’t risking an accident by sharing the track with a hundred other trains!