Of course, you want 2015 to be the best and safest year for you and your family. For that reason, you owe it to yourself to take a good look at your driving habits. Driving is one of the most dangerous things you do every day and a motor vehicle crash in North Bay Village or your Florida community can devastate your life.
We all know about the importance of seat belts and the dangers of distracted driving, but consider these less-well-known safety tips that could help keep you and your family safer throughout the year:
1) Take a look at your shoes.
High heels, platforms, flip flops, and strappy sandals can all be dangerous because they can slip when you try to step on the gas or the breaks. Bare feet can also slip and may make it harder for you to use the pedals correctly. In addition to choosing the proper footwear, make sure that you check the bottoms of your soles from time to time. If you step in something slippery while out running errands, it could cause your feet to slip from the pedals.
2) Swerving may be more dangerous than braking or even hitting an animal.
This past year in Canada, a woman was sentenced to jail time and community service after stopping her car to help some ducks across the road. Her stop in the middle of a road let to a fatal motorcycle accident. While you may not be able to control your impulse in an emergency, focus on braking rather than swerving.
3) Be careful what you eat and drink.
Have you ever felt lethargic after eating a big turkey dinner or exhausted hours after eating a lot of sugar? These things could affect your driving ability, especially if you are already tired. Sugar, caffeine, and even large meals can affect your driving ability for hours.
4) Don’t assume that time will help you if you have been drinking.
The body metabolizes alcohol in such a way that even after you stop drinking your blood alcohol level will continue to rise until it begins to slowly drop again. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you need to sober up before you hit the road again.
5) Use extra caution at gas pumps.
Gas stations are a hazard because motorists are usually in a hurry and distracted by the process of fueling up. Make sure that you know which side your gas tank is on (you may need to check if you are in a rental or borrowed car) so that you can sidle up to the pumps the right direction without having to reverse or drive around. Look out for debris or spills on the ground that may pose a slip and fall hazard and stay alert to your surroundings as you fuel up.
6) Check uneven wear on your tires.
Most of us know about the dangers of underinflated or overinflated tires and the dangers of bald tires. But there’s a link many of us don’t know about: When tires are not correctly inflated, it may cause the tire’s treads to wear down unevenly. When you check your tires, you may notice plenty of tread in the middle and more wearing along the sides and you may conclude that the tire is fine. This is not the case – this type of wearing will not allow the tire to grip the road correctly. You will want to replace any tire with this type of uneven wear at once. You will also want to check to make sure that your new tires stay properly inflated to prevent the same problem in the future.
7) How much are you carrying in the car?
Overloading the car puts added pressure on the tires and can make the car harder to control. In some cases, heavy weight can damage roof racks or other car structures or can change the center of gravity for your car, so think carefully before lugging home something very heavy.
8) How is your spare tire?
Few of us think about our spare until we need it, but it may be a good idea to pop open your trunk and take a look. If your spare is in bad shape, you may not be able to use it safely.
If you are in a car accident at any time during 2015, give the compassionate and professional attorneys at Flaxman Law Group a call. Our law firm can set up a free case review for you so that you can discuss your situation at no cost with a member of our legal team.