5 Tips for Avoiding Accidents on Your Daily Commute

Written by on October 30, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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5 Tips for Avoiding Accidents on Your Daily Commute

If you live in a major metropolitan area and regularly commute to work or school, you already know the perils that the road can bring. First, there are the speed demons who blow past you on the freeway when you’re already going faster than the speed limit yourself.

Then, you have the cell phone addicts, texting on their phones and swerving in and out of the lanes in front of you. As if that wasn’t enough, you’re also dealing with motorcycles, massive trucks and elderly folks who seem to have confused the freeway with a school zone. It’s a miracle that anyone makes it to their destination alive, isn’t it?

1. Stay Focused

This is probably the simplest and most important of all driving rules: If you’re going to drive, you have to be alert. If you’re exhausted, sleepy, distracted or intoxicated in any way, you are not fit to drive at that time.

In-car distractions are one of the biggest causes of accidents, especially distractions involving cell phones. Hopefully, you are not one of the people who text while driving, but if you are, now is the time to make a change.

No one ever thinks they are distracted while texting, but studies have shown that it causes even the best of drivers to take their attention away from the road. Put the phone away while driving. Your life is more important than a text. The use of technology while driving has caused a microscope to be put on distracted driving accidents.

This is such a huge topic that Tampa accident lawyer Williams Law Association, P.A. actually lists Distracted Driving accidents as one of their practice areas under Car Accidents. Florida has recently become the 41st state to pass a no-texting and driving law.

2. Watch The News

It’s a good idea to watch the news in the morning and keep an eye out for heavy traffic. When traffic gets congested, people become frustrated and are more likely to make stupid moves on the road. Watching traffic reports can alert you to safer routes you could take.

3. Keep Your Distance

The majority of the accidents that occur during the morning commute are due to people driving too closely to the car in front of them. The rule of thumb is to keep two to three seconds between cars. That provides enough space for the vehicle behind to avoid an accident in case the vehicle in front of them stops short.

4. Leave Five Minutes Earlier

If you’re constantly running late, it could put you at greater risk on the road. Not only does running late make you more likely to speed, but it can also make you worried and distracted, a state that you want to avoid while driving.

If you have a problem making it to work without speeding, consider leaving five minutes earlier in the morning. You won’t notice five fewer minutes of sleep, but having that extra time could make you more relaxed and happy on your way.

5. Keep up with Vehicle Maintenance

While most car trouble doesn’t directly increase the chance of an accident, certain problems, such as worn tires, can do so dramatically. If you have a tire blowout on the freeway at the wrong moment, you could spin out of control and be hit. Staying on top of tire rotations and purchasing new tires can seem like a hassle, but it could potentially save your life.

If possible purchase a vehicle that has good safety features. New auto safety technology includes features that limit the impact of a collision, advanced air bags, child locks and blind spot detection.

Driving can be scary, but it’s not something that most of us can avoid. Luckily, making even a small effort can go a long way, and as long as you commit to becoming a better driver with each passing day, you will likely stay safe on the road for many years to come.

Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches car accident claims. She has found that Tampa accident lawyer group Williams Law Association, P.A. is experienced at working diligently to prove negligence and recover reasonable settlements for accident victims.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveynin/2477374996/

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