Stern Law Firm’s Driver Safety Tips

How can car accidents and injuries occurring from a car accident be prevented?

Car accidents can be very scary, painful, costly, and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are precautions that can be taken that can significantly decrease the possibility of a car accident and/or decrease the severity of an injury from a car accident. If you have been hurt in an automobile accident anywhere in or around Metro New York City, contact Stern Law Firm today for your free case evaluation.

Here are a few tips that we’ve compiled to help you safe and injury free:
  1. Respect the right of way for everyone.
    • If you see that someone is in a hurry, be safe and yield the right of way even if you believe that you are legally right in refusing
  2. Do not operate a vehicle if you are stressed or unwell
    • If you think you are distracted, stressed, fatigued or unwell and it will affect your judgement while driving, you should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
  3. Become familiar with your blind-spots
    • Most blind spots are located behind the pillars of the car and at the back. Take caution when moving in these directions, such as when you are changing lanes or backing out of parking.
  4. Obey all traffic signs, signals and posted speed limits.
  5. Pay attention! Make sure you are attentive at all times and make responsible decisions.
  6. NEVER drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  7. Always remember to wear your seatbelt, no matter how long, or far, you’re traveling. Wearing a seatbelt is the best way to prevent injury or death when involved in a car accident.
  8. Do a quick safety check before you drive. 
    • Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure that all lights are in working order. 
    • check your blinkers for proper operation. 
    • Look for any fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle. 
    • Check that the tires are properly inflated.
  9. Make sure you have your mirrors adjusted properly. 
    • To properly adjust the left mirror, place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. 
    • For the right, move your head towards the center of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror in the same way. 
    • When you are sitting correctly in the driver’s seat, you will not be able to see your vehicle, but your blind spots will be greatly reduced.
  10. Always use your headlights, even during the day. Many newer cars have an automatic feature which can switch between the day-time-running lights option, or the standard, night-time headlights. Doing this makes your vehicle significantly more visible. 
  11. TURN SIGNALS! Use them. Signaling other cars around you on your intentions can greatly reduce the risk of an accident from happening. 
  12. Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights before proceeding, even when it may seem unnecessary. Make sure you look all directions before accelerating again. 
  13. Before proceeding through a green light, look all directions to ensure no one is going to run a red light. 
  14. Keep your eyes moving. Pay attention to what’s happening all around you, including on the sides of the road behind you.
  15. When driving on a roadway that has cars parked on the side it is a good idea to stay toward the center line. This will allow room if someone were to open their door to exit their vehicle in front of your car. 
  16. Be ready! Expect other drivers to make mistakes and think what you would do if a mistake does happen. Always be prepared to react.
  17. If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, do not get out of your car. Instead, put your hazard lights on to allow other drivers to see you better. Alert the proper authorities and wait for them to come to your aid. Do not let someone talk you into leaving your vehicle.
  18. When traveling behind other vehicles, you want to keep a four second space between your vehicles. You can gauge this by locating a stationary target ahead and when the car in front you this object, slowly count to yourself. If you pass the target in under 4 seconds, you should back off. When traveling at night or inclement weather, these times should be doubled.
  19. Don’t talk or text on a cell phone while driving. Phones take away from your ability to concentrate on the road and increase your chance of a collision by nearly 400%. 
  20. When an emergency vehicle is approaching, pull to the right shoulder of the road and stop until it has passed.
  21. Make sure you have easy access to all contact numbers that you may need as well as emergency contact information, personal information and any outstanding medical needs that you may have.
  22. Do not speed! Speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time, it only increases your chances of not arriving at all. Speed plays a huge factor in the severity of injuries caused by car accidents.
  23. Pass with care. The left lane is for passing! If you are not actively passing a vehicle, stay in the right lanes, allowing others to pass safely.
  24. Be very careful around busses, trucks and other oversized vehicles as they cannot see you from many areas.  A good rule of thumb is if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s rear view mirrors, they cannot see you! Also be aware that trucks  and oversized vehicles make large right turns.
  25. Avoid driving in undesirable conditions such as rain, snow, and ice as much as possible. 
    • During inclement weather, brakes should be applied slowly without making any sudden movements. This will help to reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle.
  26. Speed and weight play a role in your braking distance. If you double your speed, you quadruple your braking distance. If you double the weight of your vehicle, you also double the stopping distance.

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