As Cleveland, Ohio personal injury attorneys, members of the Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman legal team help many car accident victims. We love helping people hurt by negligent and reckless drivers receive the insurance settlements and civil lawsuit awards they need to pay medical bills, cover lost wages, and get on with their lives. Truth be told, though, we’d rather see everyone on the road operate safely and respectfully. That would mean less work for us, but the benefits to all Ohioans would be worth the sacrifice.
Almost every crash can be prevented or avoided. Here are seven ways to make that happen.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently organized the causes of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents into the general categories of driver-related, vehicle-related, and environment-related. Driver error lead to the most wrecks, and topping the list of reasons fatal driver-related crashes occur is operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), which is what Ohio statutes call drunk and drugged driving. OVI clouds judgment, blurs vision, slows reaction time, and causes drowsiness. Resisting the urge to climb into the driver’s seat after consuming to much alcohol or getting high saves lives, not the least of which will be the life of the potential drunk or drugged driver.
Stay Awake and Alert
Falling asleep at the wheel is a major factor in many of the most serious wrecks involving commercial truck drivers. Long shifts and short rest periods imposed by tight deadlines and pay systems that reward covering the most miles in the smallest number of hours create dangerously drowsy truckers. Any driver, however, constitutes a clear and present danger if he or she has gone days without sleeping properly, or even just stayed up around the clock for a single day.
Put Down Your Phone
Anything that takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the task of driving and the actions of other drivers is a potentially fatal distraction. Using phones to talk and text are particularly problematic, but no driver distraction is completely safe. One that teens, in particular, must recognize is interacting with passengers instead of focusing on operating safely.
Go With the Flow
Do not speed or impede traffic. Slow down when ice or rain slickens pavement. Signal turns and lane changes. Brake for yellow lights and yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Obey caution signs in and around construction zones. Never cross double yellow lines. Do not tailgate.
Anything that takes your vehicle out or against the flow of traffic puts you at risk for causing or falling victim to a traffic accident.
Check Your Blind Spots
Pedestrians, bike riders, and motorcyclists get hit, injured, and killed all the time by drivers whose only excuse is “I never even saw them.” Taking the time to look prevents a lot of tragedies, as does turning one’s head before changing lane instead of just trusting the view in the rear view and side mirrors.
Keep Your Car in Proper Repair
The vehicle-related crashes catalogued by NHTSA result from cars and trucks losing wheels, stalling out on interstates, experiencing tire blowouts, catching fire, and having loose cargo fly out of truck beds or trailers. Performing proper maintenance and securing loads protects everyone on the road.
Know When to Give Up the Keys
Driving safely requires mental focus, adequate vision, physical coordination, and, unless a vehicle has been modified, both feet and both hands. Anyone who loses those capabilities due to age, illness, medication, or injury should let someone else take the wheel.
If you need to speak with a Cleveland car accident injury lawyer because someone else ignored any part of the foregoing advice on how to prevent a crash, call Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman at (800) 678-3318. You can also schedule a no-cost case consultation by contacting us online.