The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the three long weekends of the summer tend to account for 500 car crash fatalities and the summer in general proves to be the deadliest time of year for drivers. According to the NHTSA, fatalities as well as serious car accident injuries such as burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, head injuries and other serious injuries all occur too frequently in the warmer months. Many car accidents, car accident fatalities and injuries caused by car crashes could be prevented. According to the NHTSA and other experts, there are several things that drivers can do to reduce the car accident rate:
1) Always leave another option. When driving, stay a safe distance from other vehicles and keep other cars from your blind spot. Seeing more and having extra room to move gives you more time to react and more options in a dangerous situation, which in turn can help you avoid an accident.
2) Keep vehicles in good repair. Regularly checking windshield fluid, tires, brakes, lights, mirrors and tires is a must. Ideally, check before you start your car – each time. At the very least, check these things once a week. Keep track of your mileage and your last fluid change and check-up so that you know when to go in for regular maintenance. If you notice a strange noise or your car reacting unusually, visit a mechanic right away. Mechanic failure and mechanic problems can lead to loss of control of your car and an accident.
3) Where appropriate, use your flashers. If you need to slow down on a highway, put on your flashers to notify vehicles behind you to stay alert. If you need to pull over on a dark street, highway, or road or need to pull over during poor weather conditions, put on your flashers so that other drivers can see your vehicle.
4) Keep your eyes on the road and anticipating the next stretch of road. Keeping your eyes on one part of the road means that you may not spot some dangers until it is too late. Keep your eyes moving far ahead and scanning as far ahead of you as possible. Check your side views and rear views periodically as well so that you are very aware of what is going on around you.
5) Use extra caution with any precipitation. Many drivers mistakenly assume that weather is only a factor when rain is heavy or when weather patterns are unusual. In fact, even small amounts of rain create slippery surfaces on the roads when they mix with oil residue that has been spilled on roadways. Even a very light rain can create very slippery conditions, especially if there has not been precipitation for a while and more oil residue is left on the road. In addition, all wet conditions create the potential for hydroplaning and other dangerous driving conditions. Always slow down in rainy weather and inclement weather.