I just spent the weekend in Sarasota, Florida, for a short business trip. The beaches were amazing, the restaurants were delicious, the masks were almost non-existent, and the sunsets were unforgettable. But the roads were fairly dangerous, and it got me thinking about the best ways to avoid getting into a car crash whether you are driving in Sarasota or in Kennewick.
What are the chances?
Actually, your risk of being in a collision are pretty high, and the average person will be in a collision from 1-3 times in their lives. I’ve had clients that were in three collisions over the period of only five years. If you want to take a look at a bunch of statistics, head over the Driver Knowledge website for some great infographics.
But in the short time I was in Florida, I came close to a collision three separate times. That’s once for every day I was there!
The first time, I was stopped at a stoplight and the car behind me squealed his tires braking to avoid crashing into me.
The second time, a T-bone collision happened moments before I got to the intersection and I was there before the ambulance.
The last time, I almost hit a pair of cyclists who darted in front of my car on a sidewalk as I was entering a private drive.
Three tips for safer driving
- Always give the car in front of you extra space. The faster you are driving, the more space you should give them. How far? You don’t need to measure this, you just need to count the seconds. Most defensive driving instructors will recommend that you leave about 3-5 seconds between you and the car you’re following.
- Avoid unnecessary distractions, like adjusting the air conditioning or radio, when approaching an intersection and when turning onto another street.
- Remember that car accidents are most frequent on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. So, take extra precautions during these times like avoiding roads with heavy traffic and increasing the safety space between you and other cars. If someone is tailgating you, pull over and let them pass.
And just in case
You can’t realistically remove 100% of the risk of being in a collision, especially if you are a passenger. But make sure that you (and the driver) have plenty of insurance and the phone number of a Tri-Cities personal injury attorney in your back pocket. Safe travels!