Resolving to Stay Accident Free in 2018
As we continue further into January, and the new year isn’t so “new”, some of our resolutions might already be falling by the wayside. Perhaps those five days each week at the gym just isn’t going to work with your 2018 schedule, or you’re tired of eating salads for dinner by the end of the first week. Whatever the resolution, we understand that new goals can be hard to keep long-term, and some modifications more often than not must be made in order to make them a part of your lifestyle.
However, the resolution to stay accident-free in 2018 is worth sticking to 100%. Accidents, and the unexpected complications that come along with them, are not what you want in the new year, and you can protect yourself if you know what to watch out for. Here are some of the most common causes for accidents and how you can avoid them…
Distraction or Exhaustion
Texting and driving, reaching to change the radio station to a better song, grabbing your phone “just to see who’s calling,” driving on little or no sleep, or turning for a quick moment to say something to a backseat passenger can lead to a dangerous situation in the blink of an eye. How often have you had to slam on your brakes because when you looked up from that brief moment of distraction, the driver in front of you had stopped suddenly, or a stop sign seemingly popped up out of nowhere? If you rear-ended them, you are presumptively considered at fault. This can lead to some pretty legitimate charges against you, specifically if it’s proven that you were not paying attention at the time of the collision. When driving, your focus needs to be on the road. Everything else can wait. If you absolutely HAVE to deal with a child in the backseat, an important phone call, etc., then pull over and take the time to deal with it. If you feel yourself getting too tired to safely pay attention to the road, pull off and snooze in a public area until you feel like you can handle your car safely. Nothing is worth the lives of you, your passengers, or another driver.
Much like the distraction issue, intersections (red lights and stop signs) tend to be common sites for accidents. Whether from failing to pay attention, driving too fast, or simply getting caught in poor weather conditions, running a red light or a stop sign is one of the biggest causes for collisions on the road. Unfortunately, many of these intersection accidents turn serious, because it means a driver hitting someone at either a high speed, and/or hitting another vehicle that was already stopped. Make sure you are paying close attention to all that red when you are behind the wheel of your car. Saving a few seconds by speeding up to get through a light isn’t as important as your safety.
Following the Rules
If you took driver’s education courses at any point, you know how to read road signs, know about speed limits, and if you were a really great driving student, might even know how to parallel park well on the first try. However, the longer you drive and the more you fall into habits, the more dangerous you can be behind the wheel of a car. Issues such as speeding, especially during poor weather conditions, are a leading cause of automobile accidents. When you are driving, pay close attention to all road signs. This means not only the speed limit signs, but also signs specific to areas of the road that may hold hazards (sharp curves, steep grades, etc.). If the weather turns nasty, adjust your speed and make sure you pull off if visibility is limited or you feel you can no longer safely keep control of your car. You are far better to arrive a few moments later at your destination and be there safely than to push in a time crunch and end up in the hospital (or worse).
Happy driving and stay safe. Remember if something unexpected happens and you find yourself in need of representation, at Sessums Law Group, WE STAND FOR YOU. We represent clients throughout the greater Tampa and Sarasota area, and we will help you walk through the court process smoothly and as stress-free as possible, so you can move on with life.