Difficult as it is to comprehend that so many people suffer injuries due to road accidents every year, the ASIRT’s latest statistics suggest that this is indeed the case. Something that as a road and vehicle user can be quite disturbing to hear. However, there are precautions you can take to minimize your chance of ending up as one of these stats. Read on to find out what they are.

Don’t take driving lightly  

One of the biggest problems in terms of safe driving is that because we get in our car all the time and drive places as a matter of course, it’s something that can seem very normal and mundane. This means we can so quickly forget that were are driving a two-ton lump of mental at speed down a strip of land with other two- tons lumps and that there are significant safety risks involved with this.

Now, I’m not saying that every time you get in your car, you should think about all the awful things that could happen. If you did this, you’d probably give up driving altogether. Instead, it’s more about always having that slight edge of awareness that the situation you are in can quickly change from one of safety to danger and that you need to keep your wits about you to be as safe as possible. Both for your own well being and that of your passengers and other road users as well.

Always be observant

Talking of keeping your wits about you, being observant is a vital skill to master if you don’t want to end up as one of the 20 million plus people that are injured through vehicle accidents each year.  That means keeping distractions in the cab of your car down to a minimum.

This relates, in particular to mobile phone and our interaction with them as drivers. Yes, it can be tough to let a message go unread, but what a terrible tragedy it would be if you caused an accident just because you felt you had to check a text that could easily wait until you reached your destination.

Remember, you always have the option to find somewhere safe to pull over and check any messages that you think maybe urgent then. Additionally, may car infotainment systems now integrate your smartphone and will read your message aloud. Something that means you can continue driving and get the information you need, as you can still keep your focus on the road. The more advanced systems will even allow you to make a hands free calls to the sender if you need to reply, all without endangering anyone.

Drive defensively

Defensive driving is another skill you can add to your bow if you are interested in minimizing the risk of being involved and injured in an accident. Defensive driving is a more advanced style of vehicle control that means you avoid others on the roads that are behaving in an unsafe or erratic way, as well as learning how to cope if anything does go wrong. Something you can see some examples of in the video below.

This is particularly valuable because, while you may be confident in your abilities as a safe and capable driver, traveling on public roads means you are always coming into contact with others. People who you have no idea about and could easily be driving in an unsafe or even threatening manner.

Of course, if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an incident with a driver like this you can always contact one of the many capable car accident attorneys that are available in order to start compensation proceedings. Something that can help pay for the damage to your vehicle and more importantly any treatment for the injuries you have suffered. Although, with some decent skill in defensive driving you will hopefully have a much smaller chance of ending up in such a situation in the first place.

Pick the right vehicle

Another step that you can take to ensure that you shouldn’t end up as another car accident injury statistic is to pick the right the vehicle in the first place. In fact, there are many vehicles with an incredibly high safety rating on the market, now such as the 2018 Mazda CX-3 and the 2018 Kia Sorento.

These more modern cars often benefit from safety equipment such as ABS, collision avoidance and systems such as rear parking sensors. All things that can enhance the driver’s ability to control the car in a safe and responsible manner.

More modern vehicles also tend to have better infrastructures designed to withstand crashes and accident while minimizing the injury to those inside. Look out for models like the Tesla Model 3 that include front and side impact airbags as well as seatbelt pretensioners.

Educate yourself about weather conditions

Last of all, a massive mistake that too many drivers make every day in terms of safety is that they do not account for, or change their driving in line with what the weather is doing. However, the weather is a hugely important part of how your vehicle interacts with the environment you are driving through. That means the speed you travel at and the distances it is necessary to keep between vehicles changes depending on whether it’s sunny and dry or windy and wet.

Not accounting for this can definitely increase the chance of being involved in an accident and therefore being injured. That is why it’s vital that you don’t forget all of your weather-related driving knowledge as soon as you have passed your test. Instead, continue to monitor the weather before you set off on your journey and do the things necessary to account for it each time you are in your vehicle.

Things that may include slowing down in the rain, or snow, fitting chains to your tires in the winter, and being sure not to overload the roof rack if you are expecting windy conditions. After all, such small changes to the way you drive are nothing compared to the difficulties you could face if you are involved in a serious accident.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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