If you’re the average person with an average job, you probably have a car. And not only do you possess a car, but you drive it on the road with lots of other people that have cars. And these people know other people with cars and also drive on the road, spiraling into a constant permutation of cars, people, places and all moving in close quarters driving at high speeds, eventually leading to accidents.
Preventing car accidents is certainly on everyone’s mind when they strap in their seat belt, but understanding how we got to where we are is an important piece of the puzzle.
In some ways, the whole situation of cars inevitably bumping up against each other (and causing even more damage) is both unavoidable and commonplace, because it is so necessary and convenient to own a car in today’s society. In some other locations, it is downright necessary to use and own a car simply to exist and work in a meaningful fashion. Even in urban areas where public transit is readily available and people flock to taking subways, buses, and bicycles, car accidents are still relatively mundane occurrences compared to other news headlines.
In comparison to other tragedies, “car accident maims three” would barely even scrape the surface. But this doesn’t mean that we should bury our heads in the sand and try to ignore what seems like an inevitable cash cow for auto accident attorneys. Car accidents are not only preventable, but get less dangerous each year even if the actual number of incidents may increase.
In fact, car crashes that were fatal went down by 2% in 2019 as compared to the previous year. While that may not seem like a lot, it’s certainly no laughing matter when you think about the lives saved and hours of mechanical work that can now go into preventative maintenance instead of repairing damaged fenders. And wouldn’t you rather be browsing auto dealers for a new car that got totaled instead of looking for doctors to set your broken spine or legs? You could probably even get the salesman to throw in that “new car smell” that everyone is always trying to replicate. Preventing car accidents should always be seen as a good thing, even if you do have to get creative with motivations and actions.
A New Car Is Usually a Safe Car
One of the easiest ways to prevent auto accidents is to simply replace your set of wheels if you can afford it, and there’s always someone will to give you an auto loan if you can’t. Cars are like any other type of technology and you should look at upgrading whenever your wallet and lifestyle allow you to.
Everything from steering wheels to the brake controller wiring is constantly under scrutiny by manufacturers who are trying to make their product so great that you buy two of them.
Whether you’re browsing the new trucks for sale or simply looking at the latest sedans, you’ll notice that there are a whole host of cosmetic and mechanical features that car companies use to entice drivers to be safe and not abuse the privilege of driving. It’s worth noting some of them so that you’re aware of what to look for and how they help with preventing car accidents.
When you’re on the car lot or talking to a salesman, try to steer the conversation away from what auto carpets are optional on a car model and instead ask: does it have anti lock brakes? Anti lock brakes are a revolutionary form of braking that prevents the brakes from “seizing up” during extreme downgrades in speed (such as when an accident is about to occur) and allow you to still operate the car while turning the wheels as the car slows down. Earlier models of brakes paralyzed cars and often caused accidents while failing to slow the vehicle enough to prevent collision. While anti lock brakes are not 100% effective, they are well worth having on your car and should be looked at as a “standard” that you cannot do without.
Another feature you should be looking out for, in addition to trying to find a polarized windshield and comfy seats, is electronic stability control. This is a unique system that can help detect when your car is in trouble (such as on rough roads or coming around a turn) and help keep your car from skidding or spinning out by applying individual brakes to separate wheels.
It is a rather intelligent system run by the car’s internal computer mechanisms and so far has a great track record in preventing car accidents that would have otherwise been out of the driver’s control. Electronic stability control can sometimes be hard to find, but is well worth asking for.
If You’ve Got To Stay Old School, Then Get A Check-Up
Automotive repair is not a fun topic to discuss, especially for the budget-minded individual that does not have enough car knowledge to understand what they may be getting into.
But rest assured that with the right people skills and some clever searching through reviews, you won’t have to spend even a second trying to discern what types of automotive hose clamps need to be replaced on your used vehicle. You can simply go by the maintenance book and talk with your qualified mechanic, who might even end up becoming your friend (or at least trusted auto confidant). By scheduling maintenance of regular parts that wear out, your automobile truly will become a satisfyingly well-oiled machine.
While dent removal is technically auto maintenance, a few dents and cosmetic bumps in your car never rear-ended anyone. When concentrating on maintenance for your car it’s best to focus on the big picture things that make or break a driving experience. An old adage states that “If your car can’t go, that’s a problem. Unfortunately, if it can’t stop that’s a bigger problem.”
There is some truth to the claim: a car that doesn’t run is annoying, but a car that runs and doesn’t properly slow down becomes a hazard. Hazards quickly can double or triple your chances of an accident, even if you’re doing everything in your power to avoid one. By focusing on the main problem areas of your vehicle this can be avoided.
Brakes, tires, and lights make up the trifecta of important items on a car that do the most for preventing car accidents. They also tend to be the most problematic areas, with an abnormal level of things that just seem to want to go wrong. Always make sure to get your brakes, brake pads, and brake fluid checked regularly to be sure that when your car needs to stop it will. It doesn’t need to stop on a dime like a race car, but it will need to meet basic traffic conditions. Tires are next because they wear down easily and may need to be changed for certain weather conditions. A new set of tires can become expensive but is often worth it in the long run. After all, without tires, your car wouldn’t even be able to go at all. Keep your car safely stored in your garage behind a quality garage door installation to ensure its longevity.
Lights are last not because they’re not important, but because you technically don’t need them to drive until it becomes dark. Once it gets dark they’re downright essential (and it is illegal to drive without them), but they are still an often overlooked part of car maintenance that can easily burn out or become maladjusted before you notice and have to be informed by a police officer. Since this is usually accompanied by a hefty fine, it’s worth noting and inspecting every so often just like your brakes and tires.
When The Worst Happens: Lawyers and More
Even if you’ve shopped for the latest car with all the greatest features that promises to help you avoid mishaps, accidents can still happen. At the end of the day that’s why they’re called “accidents” instead of “planned car collisions,” which does not have an amazing ring to it.
Car accidents are an amazing annoyance and usually destroy cars, but hopefully, you are never involved in an accident that causes serious injury to yourself or others, as there is only one unique person just like you. In any case, a car accident usually ends with a lot of police, commotion, yelling, and lawyers. Sometimes quite a lot of lawyers, to be exact. And while lawyers can do relatively little in the area of preventing car accidents, they can be quite helpful in assisting with sorting out the messy details of what comes afterward.
In cases where there is simply property damage that has occurred, you may not have to consult with a lawyer because your insurance may be good enough to cover all the expenses involved. If each car has been totaled, it is a relatively seamless calculation that will be prepared by insurance adjusters who will then offer you money for a new car.
In the unfortunate case that someone else’s property (or body) has been damaged, then the situation gets more complicated. Hospital bills and property damages can quickly become very expensive to the point of being debilitating financially. In this case, you will want to involve a personal injury or accident lawyer to work with you and determine where you’re liable to pay and where insurance should be filling the gaps. At the very least, you will want a lawyer around to make sure that you are not charged with a crime or on your way to jail. Every situation is different, and you should consult with trusted professionals around you in order to receive the best advice specific to you.
It can be difficult to choose a lawyer that you think has your best interests at heart, not to mention will support you in preventing car accidents in the future by properly navigating this case and saving you both time and money. Look for recommendations from family and friends who have been in similar circumstances before you call the number of those big billboards commonly seen on the interstates. While advertisements from personal injury attorneys are not likely to be fraudulent or harmful, it’s always nice to see if you can find a lawyer with some personal connection first before having to meet a stranger at an office.
If you know lawyers, ask them for their professional recommendations or what they think qualifies as a decent service with which to evaluate members of the legal profession. If none of these work, it can also help to call your insurance company and see if they are aware of lawyers or law firms that would want to help out with your situation and save everyone money while avoiding prison time.
Less Stress, More Pleasant Driving Experiences
So far we’ve covered a great deal of specific and general advice that you can take in order to do your part in preventing car accidents. Hopefully, you’ve been able to glean some wisdom from these words and see where it can apply in your life, or at least have a general idea of how you can be safer on the road without sacrificing any of the joy of driving. But it’s worth noting that many people drive better once they reduce stress, anxiety, and drama from their lives and take that along with them into their vehicle.
There’s certainly something to be said about the role of inner peace in preventing car accidents, and if you are prone to road rage or aggressive driving you should think about learning breathing exercises and coping strategies in order to curb this potentially lethal mix of emotions. If you tend to get sad or have other emotional problems when driving, then you might want to talk to a therapist or counselor.
Some people tend to find that having a dual-use for their car forces them to take better care of it. For instance, if you have an SUV that you start to bring on camping trips (which can be in desolate areas), you may find that you have a renewed interest in keeping the oil changed, tires inflated, and making sure that the sunroof works for those wonderful moonlit nights. Suddenly, your car being dirty or the windshield wipers streaking across the glass seem like problems that need to be fixed. These things may seem small, but the more that you’re in your car and getting to know it intimately is how you begin the process of preventing car accidents whether you believe it or not.
Driving a nice car that is well maintained, clean, and humming along truly is a joy. It’s no wonder that people treat cars as their second homes and indulge in some of their favorite activities while getting from point A to point B. And while there’s nothing morally wrong with belting out your favorite tunes as you drink iced coffee and smoke cigarettes, perhaps you should concentrate on simply driving when you’re behind the wheel. It is, after all, the whole reason that cars were invented in the first place.