Car accidents aren’t fun. They’re dangerous, scary, and most of the time, quite easily avoidable. Just by following a few simple pieces of advice, you can drastically reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.

To start with, make sure you car is in the best condition it can be. Sometimes it’s not the drivers that are at fault for accidents, but the cars they were driving had some defects that could have been sorted by a mechanic or manufacturer. If you suspect there might be anything wrong with your car, don’t drive. Just call someone to take a look at it so you can have peace of mind

Before you set off, make sure that your visibility is as good as it can possibly be. If you need glasses or contacts, then make sure you wear them! Also, make sure that your mirrors are all positioned properly, to give yourself maximum visibility behind you, and make sure your windows are clean. Not only will this reduce your chances of getting into an accident, but you can make it clear to a car accident lawyer that you were not at fault if an accident does occur. It should be obvious, but make sure you actually check your mirrors: look in them, not at them. They’re there for a purpose, not just ornaments.

The speed limit is a limit, not a target. In many circumstances, such as country roads, driving at the speed limit is, in fact, much too fast. If the road is narrow, winding, with blind corners or humpbacked bridges, then drop your speed. You don’t know what’s going to be round the corner, or on the other side of the bridge, so by slowing down by a few miles per hour, you’re giving yourself more reaction time, and reducing the risk of an accident.

Concentrate on the road! Texting, or talking on the phone whilst driving is illegal, and will land you points on your licence. However, whilst fiddling with your music system isn’t illegal, it takes away just as much attention from the road. The sensible thing to do is to wait until you’re stationary to change the radio station, as that allows you to keep 100% of your attention on the road the same is true of eating or drinking. Furthermore, it’s one thing to talk to your passengers, but if the conversation becomes heated, or an argument, then it’s best to pull over, as it will cause you to lose concentration.

Finally, just apply some common sense. Don’t make a turn in the road on a blind, sweeping bend. Don’t tailgate someone, because you will be found at fault if they need to do an emergency stop and you hit them. Give cyclists as much room as you would a car. Make sure you double check for motorcycles, as they can be hard to see. Above all, be sensible, and absolutely, under no circumstances, drive whilst over the alcohol limit, even the morning after drinking.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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