Welcome the New Year by Embracing Safer Driving Habits: A Resolution to Sidestep Motor Vehicle Accidents
As we usher in another year, it is an opportune time to focus on enhancing our safety on the roads. The aftermath of car accidents can be catastrophic, yet by adopting a few resolutions, we can actively strive towards mitigating them. This blog will explore four fundamental resolutions that can aid in fostering safer driving practices throughout the year.
1. The Importance of Buckling Up
Securing your seatbelt is among the most vital precautions you can undertake to protect yourself while on the road. This simple yet effective measure can significantly diminish the risk of injuries and even prove life-saving.
Seatbelts are engineered to restrain the body in case of a crash, thereby preventing you from being hurled forward or ejected from the vehicle. During a sudden halt or impact, a seatbelt ensures that you remain securely in your seat, reducing the chances of colliding with the windshield, dashboard, or other car interior parts.
The correct usage of your seatbelt is integral to its efficacy. The lap belt should be snugly placed low across your hips, fitting over the pelvic bone. The shoulder belt should cross your chest diagonally, avoiding any contact with your neck or throat. It is equally crucial to adjust the seatbelt to a comfortable yet secure fit, ensuring mobility while providing protection.
2. The Perils of Drinking and Driving
Driving under the influence is one of the most hazardous decisions one can make on the road. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time while also affecting coordination and the ability to focus on driving safely.
Each year, a staggering number of accidents are attributed to drunk driving, leading to severe injuries and fatalities. The risks associated with alcohol and driving should not be underestimated.
Beyond the physical risks, there are severe legal implications for driving under the influence. If you are apprehended driving while intoxicated, penalties can range from fines to license suspension and even incarceration. These penalties aim to deter individuals from this reckless behavior, thereby protecting innocent lives on the road.
Luckily, alternatives to driving post-drinking are available. Planning ahead, designating a sober driver, using public transport, or hailing a taxi or rideshare service can ensure your safety and that of others on the road. It is always prudent to exercise caution and make responsible decisions when it comes to alcohol and driving.
3. Eliminate Distractions: Keep the Phone Away
Distracted driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents, constituting a significant threat to road safety. One of the most common distractions while driving is phone use. Activities such as texting, browsing social media, or making phone calls significantly increase the risk of an accident while driving.
To promote safer driving and reduce the probability of being involved in a car accident, it’s vital to refrain from using your phone while driving. Here are some tips to help maintain focus on the road:
Ways to avoid phone use while driving:
- Before setting off, put your phone on silent or switch it off completely. This can help avoid the temptation to check notifications or respond to messages.
- If it’s necessary to use your phone, pull over to a safe location and park before doing so.
- Assign a passenger to handle phone-related tasks like answering calls or navigating.
Apps and tools to minimize phone distractions:
Several apps and tools can help reduce phone distractions while driving. These apps can block notifications, send auto-responses to incoming messages, or even disable certain phone features while driving. Some popular options include:
- LifeSaver: This app utilizes GPS tracking to detect driving and blocks distracting phone features.
- AT&T DriveMode: This app silences incoming calls and texts, and can also send automated responses to inform others that you’re driving.
- Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving: Available on iPhones, this feature can auto-detect when you’re driving and silence notifications, calls, and texts.
By keeping your phone away and eliminating distractions while driving, you can significantly decrease the risk of car accidents and contribute to safer roads for all.
4. Drowsy Driving: Pull Over
Driving while feeling drowsy can substantially increase the risk of car accidents. Recognizing the signs of drowsy driving and taking proactive steps to stay alert during long drives is crucial.
One of the primary risks of drowsy driving is impaired cognitive function. When you’re tired, your reaction time slows down, making it difficult to respond swiftly to unexpected situations on the road. Research indicates that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Several signs indicate potential drowsy driving. These include frequent yawning, difficulty keeping your eyes open, drifting out of your lane, and missing road signs or exits. If you experience any of these signs, it’s crucial to pull over to a safe location as soon as possible.
To stay alert during long drives, consider taking regular breaks every couple of hours to stretch and get some fresh air. Consuming caffeine in moderation can also provide a temporary alertness boost.
However, these strategies are not long-term solutions. If you consistently feel drowsy while driving, it may be an indication of an underlying sleep disorder or insufficient rest. In such cases, it’s crucial to address the root cause and seek professional help.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident? Don’t hesitate to call Thomas J. Henry. Our team of experienced auto accident lawyers is well-equipped to handle a wide range of injury accidents, regardless of their severity. If the accident resulted from another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses. Our personal injury law firm boasts highly skilled attorneys and substantial financial resources, ensuring that you receive the rightful outcomes you deserve.
With offices conveniently located in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Houston, we proudly serve clients throughout Texas and across the nation. Contact us today to request a complimentary case evaluation. Our attorneys are accessible around the clock, including nights and weekends. If you find it challenging to visit our office, rest assured that we can arrange to meet you at your residence, in the hospital, or at your workplace.