We always talk about how important it is to be ready for anything. But when an accident does occur, you realize quickly how easy it is to say you are prepared but how difficult it is to actually be ready. Some of the most common roadside accidents—such as a wreck or flat tire—may not be able to be completely avoided; after all, accidents do happen. However, it is important that you know what to do in the event of such an accident. Here are some of the most common types of accidents and automotive problems and how you can be sure to stay safe when you are on the road.
Common Sense Safety Tips
First off, let’s deal with some basics and take care of some simple, common sense tips that may not be all that common. This includes one of the biggest problems for modern drivers—Don’t drive while you are distracted or impaired. Texting on a cell phone while trying to drive is now the number one cause of death amongst teen drivers (http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/study-texting-while-driving-now-leading-cause-of-death-for-teen-drivers-1.5226036). In one year, there were approximately 3,000 fatalities and over 300,000 injuries caused by texting behind the wheel. Besides this, there are still serious problems with drinking and driving. According to the CDC, despite efforts to curb DUIs, one-third of all traffic fatalities involved drunk drivers (http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Impaired_Driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html). Besides these two oft-talked about problems, drivers should also try to limit all distractions including taking pictures and posting to social media, grooming (including hair and make-up), and cutting up and playing around with others in the car (http://www.myinjurycase.com/blog/2015/03/traveling-for-spring-break-here-are-5-tips-to-stay-safe-on-the-road/).
It is important to be ready for certain types of emergencies. Having an emergency kit ready will help save you a lot of time and potential headaches. This type of kit should include:
- A spare tire
- A car jack
- Portable instant tire inflator
- Jumper cables
- Emergency road flares
- Gloves and a blanket
- Heavy-duty rope
- First aid kit
These can also be very helpful if you are driving in a rural area and may need to fend for yourself while you wait for emergency help.
Get Clear of the Road
If you are involved in a car accident or if you have even a common problem like a tire blow-out, you should make sure to get your car as far off the road as possible. Most states have a law that if an accident is a minor fender-bender then you should drive off the road so as to not block the flow of traffic at all. It is also mandatory that a driver involved in a car accident must stop so that the accident can be investigated. Failure to do so can lead you to being charged for fleeing the scene of an accident. Once you are well off the road, be sure to turn on your emergency hazard lights or put down reflective triangles or road flares. It is imperative that you make sure other drivers can see you so that you do not get clipped on the side of the road. Finally, make sure that you keep your cellphone charged for use so that you can call 911 and get emergency help, whether it is an accident or a breakdown.
The best way to stay safe on the road is to be proactive. Take steps to be prepared and to know what to do in an emergency and you will have a better chance of keeping a level head when the unexpected happens.