While driving around Sarasota daily might seem almost second nature, it is important to remember that every time you get behind the wheel, you could find yourself in a dangerous situation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 35,000 people die every year due to traffic-related accidents. This puts motor vehicle collisions in the top 10 causes of death annually.
Even though some accidents are due to equipment malfunction or freak occurrences, most of them happen because of operator error. So, how do you avoid an accident where the other driver is reckless or negligent? One of the best things you can do is to understand what kind of dangers you face from other drivers. While drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving are some of the most common causes of accidents, here are a few more that you should also be aware of.
Driving tired can be just as dangerous as distracted and drunk driving. People who are driving drowsy have slower reflexes and will not react in time to counter sudden changes in traffic or other road hazards. Unfortunately, many drivers who do fall asleep behind the wheel tend to end up in wrecks on high-speed roads. If you find yourself getting sleepy while driving, always pull over and get some rest.
Not Adjusting for the Weather
Many drivers treat driving in the rain or other bad weather the same as driving on a clear and dry sunny day. When the roads are wet and slippery, tire traction reduces and increases the chances for a driver to lose control. Slowing down can not only keep you from hydroplaning, but it can give you the time you need in case you are in the vicinity of another driver who has lost control of their vehicle.
How many times have you been on the highway and seen a passenger vehicle drafting off of a tractor-trailer? While this might seem like a good idea to save gas, it is incredibly dangerous. Following behind a semi at less than 150 feet provides fewer than two seconds of time for the passenger vehicle to stop if the trucker suddenly hits the brakes. If you witness a vehicle doing this, the best thing you can do is to remove yourself from the area as quickly and safely as possible.
The next time you get behind the wheel, remember the dangerous habits of other drivers and be alert for those making these mistakes. While staying alert can help you avoid a collision, wrecks still happen with negligent or reckless drivers. If you have been in a car accident, you might be able to file a claim and receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.