Millions of accidents occur in the United States every year. There are hundreds of reasons for these accidents — intoxication, drug abuse, talking on a cell phone, texting, fixing one’s hair, or being distracted by an accident nearby to name a few. The sad part is, you may not be the one driving poorly when you’re involved in an accident. Driving in congested Seattle traffic raises your overall risk of being the victim of an auto accident injury. So how do you protect yourself from being the victim of an accident? Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you are behind the wheel.
- Remove distractions: 80 Percent of the millions of accidents are the result of a distracted driver. Texting, talking on the cell phone, applying makeup or fidgeting with the radio should all be avoided while behind the wheel.
- Be cautious of the left lane: Recent research claims that the left lane is where most freeway accidents occur. The left lane has less escape routes than the middle and right lanes, limiting your ability to avoid a collision.
- Survey the road ahead: Do not limit yourself to watching the car directly in front of you- watch 3 or 4 cars ahead. If you know what is happening farther along up the road you have a better chance of reacting and avoiding collisions.
- Hands on the wheel: Holding the steering wheel properly in the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position provides more control over your car- enabling you to more easily react and maneuver.
- Watch the Blind Spots: Keep a good grasp on what is happening in your blind spots at all times. Many accidents occur due to lane changes when blind spots were not clear.
- Proceed with caution at intersections: Take caution when at an intersection- watch for pedestrians and pay attention to vehicles running red lights. When your light is green cautiously proceed, monitoring all other traffic to prevent a collision.
- Watch out for beaters: Watch out for cars with extensive body damage; it can be a good indication of a careless or reckless driver.
- Know your vehicle: Know your vehicle’s limits. If you have poor brakes- maintain a longer following distance- if it takes longer to pick up speed be extra cautious when merging.
- Keep your car maintained: Keep up to date on your cars routine service checks and pay attention to recalls.
- Avoid nighttime driving: Lower visibility and a higher drunk-driving rate make the roads particularly dangerous after hours.
Read our FREE book for Washington motorists
Being seriously injured in an auto accident in Seattle is one of the most stressful life events most of us will ever face. Seattle attorney Jason Epstein has been advocating for the rights of injury victims for a decade, and has written a book, The Truth About Washington Auto Accidents, to help victims in their fight against insurance companies. This easy to read guide is full of useful information, from how to deal with insurance adjusters without endangering your case, to choosing the right lawyer for you. The Truth About Washington Auto Accidents is free to all Washington State residents. If you would like to protect your family and assets in the event of an accident, order your copy of this free book from our website.