How safe are you when you get behind the wheel? No one anticipates an accident, and some are unavoidable. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk on the road and protect yourself if you are the victim of an accident. Continue reading to learn 5 of the easiest ways you can keep yourself, your passengers, and other people safe when you are driving.
1. Check Your Tires
Your vehicle is only as safe as the tires you drive on. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles involved in between 5 and 10 percent of all accidents have some type of tire safety issue prior to an accident. Tire pressure and tread depth play a major role in safety, so much so that Consumer Reports recommends drivers check their tire pressure every month in an effort to avoid uneven tread wear or an unexpected tire failure. Underinflated tires may increase your risk of a crash by as much as 300%. Even if you have a tire pressure monitoring system in your vehicle, make it a habit to double check your pressure on a regular basis – and don’t forget about the spare.
2. Buckle Up
This one should go without saying – especially since it’s the law – but there still are those that don’t make it a regular habit. The fact is, seatbelts save over 13,000 lives every year. When you buckle up, you are securing yourself inside the vehicle and preventing yourself from being thrown out in an accident. Together with airbags, this safety system prevents serious injury. Everyone – including those in the backseat – should wear a safety belt at all times inside a moving vehicle. It is your best defense against the negligence of others. Make sure the shoulder belt crosses your chest and shoulder away from your neck and secure the lap belt over your hips below the stomach.
3. Drive Alert and Without Distractions
Fatigue and distractions are responsible for countless accidents in the U.S. every year. Make sure to only drive when you are well-rested and alert. Take steps to adjust your mirrors, radio and GPS systems prior to driving, and never ever text while driving. Cell phone usage while driving is responsible for 1.6 million accidents and 6,000 deaths every year.
4. Drive Respectfully
It’s easy to get lost in your own world while driving. Unfortunately, this can also lead to a major accident. Whether you are following too closely, failing to yield right-of-way, or weaving in and out of traffic, pushing your boundaries out on the road could lead to a serious collision. Remember to respect other drivers and obey traffic laws – even if you are in a hurry.
5. Use Caution in School and Work Zones
Work zones are clearly marked in Wisconsin for good reason: nationwide, an average of 4 people are injured in roadway work zones every hour. In addition, there are hundreds of work zone traffic fatalities every year, and speed is a factor in approximately 31 percent of them.
School zones are equally dangerous, as they contain the youngest, and often least observant, pedestrians during some of the busiest traffic hours of the day. Be sure to slow down and obey reduced speed limits, and take caution when approaching school bus stops and pedestrian crosswalks.
At Thiel Insurance Group we look out for the best interests of our customers. We want to help you keep your family as safe as possible, starting with great car insurance coverage. For more information about vehicle safety or to request your own car insurance quote, contact one of our offices today. We look forward to serving you soon.