Traffic accidents cause thousands of injuries each year. The possible need for long-term care, among other things, can complicate the determination of damages for injuries. Effectively dealing with these issues can require professional assistance. Obviously, however, the best solution is to avoid traffic accidents in the first place.
The Levin Firm has some advice to help you do that. If you have suffered an injury in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area, however, consult an attorney to protect your rights and explore your compensation options. The Levin Firm can help. Take advantage of a free consultation. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.
Can I Reduce My Risk of a Traffic Accident?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. And there is a good reason for wanting to do so. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, a traffic accident kills someone every 12 minutes, injures someone every 10 seconds, and crashes every five seconds.
Driving safety experts offer different answers for how to avoid traffic accidents based on their editorial perspectives. The different viewpoints, however, appear equally valid. For example, EHS Today advises:
- Pull into traffic slowly, paying attention to other drivers’ blind spots and objects that might obstruct the vision of other drivers, including highway road signs.
- Look both ways at least twice before turning right at intersections.
- Make sure no one runs a red light or pushes through during the last milliseconds of a yellow light before you proceed into an intersection.
- Take care when passing commercial trucks, which have large blind spots on their right-hand sides and to their rears.
- Always keep at least one hand on the steering wheel. Avoid distractions, including changing radio stations, tapes, or CDs; using cell phones; eating, or taking both hands off the wheel.
- Watch for children, pedestrians, and animals.
- Maintain your vehicle, including the engine and safety equipment, such as brakes and brake lights, position lights, and head lights. Keep your tires properly inflated.
- Be vigilant when backing up. Don’t rely on mirrors—turn and look to ensure nothing is in the way.
- Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Treat other drivers with courtesy and don’t do anything that might spark road rage in them.
Edmunds offers these suggestions for avoiding accidents:
- Stay out of the fast lane. The left lane is for passing, but more important, the center or right lanes give you have more places to go should you need to quickly change lanes or move to the shoulder. Most accidents involve vehicles traveling in the left lane.
- Focus on the front, and not just the vehicle in front of you—look for problems farther ahead and keep an eye on what happens in front of the vehicle in front of you. This will give you time to react.
- Pay attention to blind spots—yours, others’, everyones. Turn to check your own blind spots, and adjust your mirrors to minimize those blind spots. Pay particular attention to truckers’ blind spots.
- Keep your hands on the wheel, preferably at or above the nine- and three o’clock positions.
- Know your car’s limits. A minivan is not a Porsche, and acceleration, maneuverability, and other performance standards differ accordingly. Learn how your vehicle can perform in an emergency.
- Keep your car in good shape. Observe maintenance schedules, regularly change your tires, change wiper blades, and take other steps to keep your car in proper condition.
- Avoid driving late at night if possible. While driving late to avoid traffic sounds good, you are more fatigued at night and other drivers are more likely to drive drowsy—or worse, under the influence of alcohol.
Obviously, none of this advice can prevent all accidents, but it can reduce your risk. Safe driving requires constant attention and vigilance. Maintain that attitude and you might take the best step to avoid traffic accidents.
The government, of course, has its own perspective on accident prevention. In large part, the government focuses on how accidents hurt the economy, since many accidents occur during rush hours or work hours, and to different degrees employers bear the cost for injuries that occur whether they take place on or off the job. Even off-the-job injuries cost employers if employees can’t work due to accident injuries. Hence, the federal government has its own recommendations for reducing traffic accidents. Employers should:
- Maintain traffic safety policies and ensure that all employees understand them, even if the job duties of those employees do not include driving. Such policies could include banning the use of drugs or alcohol during work hours or while performing company business.
- Enforce policies requiring the use of seat belts when engaged in company business or using company vehicles, and require all occupants of company vehicles to wear seat belts.
- Establish policies regarding fatigued driving to ensure that employees properly rest before they drive on company business.
- Make it company policy to avoid aggressive driving even when simply commuting to and from work, but especially when driving on company business.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of the Levin Firm
Drive with the goal of avoiding accidents, but if a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area injured you, getting an experienced legal team on your side can help. If you were in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area despite your defensive driving, protect your rights and explore your compensation options. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.