You’ve probably never thought about the global number of people who lose their lives as a result of a car crash each year. The answer is a beyond huge 1.25 million. Hard to comprehend such a massive figure, so let’s break that down into 3,287 people per day. We could even break that down further into 26 people per second. That’s an average to make us all think twice about setting off in icy conditions. But what else can we do to reduce our chances of becoming part of these most unfortunate statistics? Here’s our top tips on how to reduce car crashes.
When the light goes green, the road may not be clear
Everybody loves a green light. Seeing an approaching red light change to green – so that you don’t even have to think about moving your foot over to the brake pedal – is one of the few pleasures of driving in built up areas. Red lights, on the other hand, make us late. Red lights make us frustrated. Red lights make us act rashly – like charging through a light that has only just changed to red, even though other green-lighted traffic may have begun to move. This type of collision is one of the most commonly reported types of road traffic accident (if you’ve been affected, remember to seek expert help from auto accident injury lawyers). Always maintain vigilance against red light runners.
Look into the future (about 5-10 seconds into the future)
When driving on the highway, especially over long distances, the plain and passive scenery is enough to turn the minds of even the most perceptive and aware among us into a vacant echo chamber of uninterested rattling thoughts. On some level, we know this ‘switching off’ is happening, and our eyes dip to focus on maintaining a certain distance from the car in front. However, accidents and pile-ups can be easily avoided if drivers instead maintain a focus of several hundred yards ahead, where what’s happening about 5-10 seconds ahead can provide us with critical information, preventing harsh braking.
Don’t tailgate. Ever.
Obviously, looking into the distance when driving on the highway is not the only way to avoid a crash. Afterall, the car in front is the only car you’re likely to hit. Look into the distance, but also maintain a stopping distance between your car and the car in front of around 3 seconds. This is easy to say and hard to do in flowing traffic, but that’s what the slower lanes were invented for. Hop over into the slower moving traffic and make use of the time by listening to a podcast. Your fuel economy will increase, you might just learn something from a well-chosen podcast, and above all, your chances of arriving alive will shoot up.
Is your car on its last legs?
A poorly maintained car is an accident waiting to happen. Underinflated tires, a struggling engine that hasn’t had an oil change in too long, and worn out brake pads can all lead to mechanical failure and loss of control. Get your vehicle checked regularly.