Since we are enjoying warm weather and entering the most dangerous time of the year for driving (yes, summer, not winter), I thought I would share my own practical advice on safe driving. In other words, how to avoid crashing your car. Or better yet, how to prevent bad drivers from crashing into you. So you don’t need to hire an attorney.
1. Remember that cars are heavy. Heavy things can cause damage. Even tiny cars like the Mini Cooper weigh a ton. A SmartCar weighs only a few hundred pounds less.
2. Leave plenty of room between your car and the car you are following (or that is following you). If you think one second is plenty, it’s not unless you are driving 15 mph. If you are on the highway going 88 feet per sec (60 mph), it will take you at least double that to stop including reaction time. You should go to this website for the hard numbers. You should even leave plenty of room when you are stopped. See the next tip.
3. Look in your rear view mirror when you are stopped at a light. A third of car collisions are rear-enders, and most of them happen when you are stopped at a light. If you see someone coming, you may be able to take evasive manuevers.
4. Drive with both hands on the steering wheel, especially when you are going through intersections. Intersection accidents account for 40% of all car "accidents". In other words, drive through an intersection like other drivers are trying to crash into you and you will have a better chance of driving through safely. This is even more necessary on certain streets, like Clearwater Avenue in Kennewick, Court Street in Pasco, or George Washington Way in Richland.
5. Drive without distractions. Here is a list of common distractions that have caused collisions: cell phone use, car radio, eating, sleeping, and talking. I know most of us don’t drive in the Indy 500, but can you imagine Dario Franchitti racing with a sandwich in his hand or talking on the cell phone? Or falling asleep at the wheel? If you need to be distracted, pull off the road and do whatever you need to do that is preventing you from paying attention to the road and the cars around you.
I could go on and on, but I’m hitting the road for a weekend trip with my family. Feel free to submit your own tips in the comment section below. Have a safe summer! And if for some reason you don’t, give Anderson Law a call.