How to Reduce the Risk of Getting Into a Car Accident

Reduce the risk of a car accident

How to Reduce the Risk of Getting Into a Car Accident

Car accidents are a common occurrence on a global scale, especially in the United States. While it may not always be possible to avoid an accident, there is still a lot you can do to improve your driving and reduce the chances of getting into an accident and sustaining injuries. Below are several key elements to ensuring your safety and that of everyone else on the road.


Beware of Blind Spots

While it’s true that you need to rely on your mirrors when you’re driving, they shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on. No matter how well you adjust your mirrors, there still are blind spots, and you should always be extra careful when switching lanes and doing other maneuvers. 


Avoid the Fast Lane

It’s not surprising that most highway accidents happen in the fast lane. So, unless you’re going around another vehicle, it’s best to stay in other, safer lanes. That way, you will not only be avoiding the vigilant eye of highway patrol officers who focus on the fast lane, but it will also be easier for you to get off the interstate quickly without causing road hazards.


Scan the Area Ahead of You

Don’t just focus on what the car in front of you is doing. Look at the cars driving behind and the side lanes as well. This will give you a better understanding of the situation on the road, and it will be easier to notice potential hazards and to prevent getting into an accident yourself, like chain-reaction crashes.


Avoid Nighttime Driving

You may be tempted to start your road trip in the late hours of the day or night because it will help you avoid traffic, but think again. Driving in the dark comes with its own set of dangers and challenges, like drunk drivers, reduced vision, and sudden temperature drops. Plan your journey, and if you can, always do the main driving when it’s not dark outside. 


Focus on Proper Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance isn’t just a way to ensure your car serves you longer. It’s also crucial for your safety as a driver. If you skimp on maintenance, you can end up in a dangerous situation where your car stalls, fails, or experiences other problems that make it undrivable and, in some cases, even uncontrollable. Here are the main things you need to do to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly:


  • Check your tires regularly to ensure they’re properly inflated
  • Change the engine oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles (or based on your manufacturer guidelines)
  • Check your transmission fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid, and coolant regularly
  • Rotate your tires every twice a year, or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles
  • Replace your engine coolant every 2 to 3 years, or every 30,000 miles
  • Change your power steering fluid every 3 years or every 50,000 miles
  • Change your air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles


If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and looking for an auto accident attorney, Legal Chiefs can help. We offer a network of dedicated legal professionals who can readily help you with your claim!


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Auto Accident FAQ

Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation. There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver. Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include: ● Current and future medical bills ● Property damage ● Emotional duress ● Lost wages ● Loss of enjoyment of life ● Loss of future earnings potential On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.