Always Wear Your Seat Belt

seatbelt-021716The first thing both drivers and passengers should do when getting in a car is put on a seat belt –  not only because it is the law, but also because wearing a seat belt could potentially save a life or help prevent severe injuries in the event of a car accident.  Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, demonstrates the importance of always wearing a seat belt:

  • In 2013, an estimated 12,584 lives among people age 5 and older were saved in the United States by the use of seat belts.
  • An additional 2,800 could have been saved with proper seat belt use.
  • About 43,000 people were injured in an accident while not wearing a seat belt.
  • 1,928 people were killed as a result of not wearing a seat belt.
  • In Florida only about 750 lives were saved by the use of seat belts.
  • An additional 179 lives could have been saved in Florida with proper seat belt use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 87% of vehicle occupants across the United States wear their seat belts.  Of vehicle occupants in Florida the estimate is 88.8%.  These percentages have slowly risen from previous; however, many people are still not wearing their seat belts.  To help prevent potential injuries and fatalities, it is essential to put on a seat belt and to wear it properly:

  • Place the shoulder belt across your chest
  • Place the lap belt low on the hips
  • Make sure the belt fits closely to your body

Keeping the above in mind when putting on your seat belt allows for the proper performance of the seat belt. Making sure the shoulder belt and lap belt are in the correct positions can help minimize possible injuries and help prevent internal injuries.  Having the seat belt fit closely to your body, can help prevent injury from the belt itself in the event of a car accident.  Every time you get in your car, make sure to put on your seat belt, and if you have passengers make sure they have their seat belts on as well.

 
If you have pain resulting from a seat belt related injury due to an accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road: Put Down Your Phone

putdownyourphoneDistracted driving is often the cause of car accidents.  Using a cell phone is one of the more distracting activities for drivers. Texting requires manual, cognitive and visual attention.  This means drivers take their hands off of the wheel, their attention off of driving, and their eyes off of the road.  Answering a phone call also causes drivers to take their hands off of the wheel and their minds off of the road.  Even if hands-free technology is used, the driver’s focus shifts away from driving and instead his/her attention is on the conversation with the person on the other end of the call.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled data on distracted driving and details about accidents involving cell phone use:

  • There were 826,000 non-fatal crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011.
  • Of these accidents – 50,000 involved cell phone use.
  • Each of these accidents resulted in injury or property damage.
  • It was estimated that 21,000 people were injured in accidents resulting from cell phone use.
  • Of the fatal accidents in the distraction-affected category, 385 people were killed in accidents in which at least one driver had been using his/her cell phone.
  • For the age group 15-19 years old, 21% of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving involved use of a cell phone.
  • About 20% of teenagers and 10% of parents admit to having multiple text message conversations while on the road.
  • The average time a driver’s eyes are off the road when texting is five seconds, which is enough time to cover the length of a football field if driving at 55mph.

Keeping the above information in mind, it is important to keep your full attention on the road while driving.  Make sure to leave you phone alone while driving.  If you feel it is necessary, you can turn off your phone while you’re in the car.  If you need to make a call or send a text message or email, find a safe place to pull over to do so.  Arriving at your destinations safely is the main priority when driving.  Disconnecting from your cell phone during your drives can help you avoid an accident as well as potential injuries.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

Defend Yourself – Be a Defensive Driver

defensive drivingThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2013 there were 5,687,000 traffic accidents in the United States. Of those accidents – 1,591,000 were injury crashes and 30,057 were fatalities. These numbers can be quite alarming, but drivers can help protect themselves by becoming a defensive driver. It is impossible to control other drivers’ actions, but you do have control over your own driving. By following these defensive driving tips, you can reduce your chances of getting into a car accident.

  • Before setting out on the road, make sure all of your mirrors are adjusted properly.  While driving check your mirrors periodically and be mindful of your blind spots.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  Your seat belt can help reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
  • Focus your full attention on the road.  Put down any possible distractions such as phones and avoid adjusting the radio and air-conditioning if possible.
  • Follow the posted speed limit signs.  If a danger should arises, it will be harder to control your vehicle if you are speeding.
  • Leave enough space between your car and the car in front of you.  It is suggested to leave about 3 to 4 seconds of lead time in normal weather conditions.
  • In times of rainy weather, use your headlights and leave extra space between your car and other drivers.
  • Use your blinkers to ensure that other drivers know when you will be changing lanes or making a turn.
  • If you identify a reckless driver, get away from them as safely as possible following the rules of the road.
  • Make sure to keep your emotions in check.  If you tend to get frustrated with other drivers, find ways to keep yourself calm while on the road.
  • If another driver shows signs of road rage, do not engage them and keep your focus on driving.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.  Being aware of your surroundings can help you anticipate any possible dangers that may arise

Because you have no control over other drivers, it is imperative that you are aware of your own driving. By keeping these defensive driving tips in mind, you can help reduce the chance of a car accident and prevent possible injuries.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

Distracted Driving: Focus on the Road Instead

distracteddrivingMany car accidents are often the result of distracted driving.  Activities such as eating, drinking, putting on make-up, using a cell phone, texting, or emailing can cause distracted driving.  Each of these activities falls under the three main types of distractions.

1. Visual Distractions

The first type is visual distractions.  This involves anything that causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road for any amount of time.

2. Manual Distractions

Manual distractions are the second type of distractions.  These activities make drivers take one or both of their hands off of the steering wheel. Texting, talking on the phone, putting on make-up, eating, drinking and adjusting the radio are just some of the actions that fall under the first two types of distractions.

3. Cognitive Distractions

The third form of distractions is cognitive distractions.  These distractions take the driver’s mind off of driving. This can include stress, family issues, a bad mood, or a phone call.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sheds a light on distracted driving and the risk factors that come along with it through several statistics.  In 2013 – 3,154 people were killed in car accidents caused by distracted driving.  Although the number of fatalities decreased from 2012, the number of injuries increased.  In 2013, there were 424,000 injuries due to distracted driving, while in 2012 there were 421,000 people injured.  In terms of cell phone usage, about 660,000 drivers are using their phones at any given moment during the day.  Using a cellphone and other similar visual/manual distractions like eating or putting on makeup, can increase a driver’s risk of getting into a car accident by three times.  In 2011, 17% of car accidents involving injuries were reported to be distracted driving accidents.  These statistics show that drivers are often distracted, and those distractions lead to an increased risk of being injured in a car accident.

In order to prevent distracted driving, drivers should try to eliminate any distractions as much as possible.  Here are some suggestions to help avoid distracted driving:

  • Put on make-up and finish any grooming before heading out on the road.
  • Instead of eating while driving, try to eat any meals before or after the drive.
  • If possible, avoid using your cell phone in any way – calls, texts, and emails.
  • Adjust the radio before starting to drive, and avoid frequently adjusting it.
  • If dealing with cognitive distractions, try to focus only on the road while driving.
  • Keep your full attention on the road at all times.

Remember that distracted driving increases the risk of getting into a car accident, so try to eliminate any possible distractions before heading out on the road.

 

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

This is Why Speeding is a No-No

speedingcarCar accidents can be caused by a number of factors – speeding is one such factor. There are several reasons why people may speed. Maybe they were in a hurry because they thought they were going to be late to a meeting or an appointment. Sometimes a driver is just impatient and doesn’t want to be sitting in a car for any longer than he/she has to. A bad mood can also cause a person to speed because their anger comes out in their driving. Maybe the driver just likes to drive fast and does not think he/she will get caught. Many people may not see speeding as a big deal, however, it is against the law and can have serious consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2013 – 9,613 traffic fatalities in the United States were speeding related. The drivers involved in these accidents were mostly men between the ages of 15 and 24. The majority of these accidents took place on non-interstate roads, such as local roads and collector roads.

Speeding often leads to reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic. Not only does this put the driver at risk of getting into a car accident, it also puts other drivers on the road at risk of being injured. Certain types of weather or times of day also increase the risk of getting into a car accident when speeding; rain can cause the roads to be slick making it hard for a speeding car to slow down or stop, fog can make it more difficult for drivers to see other drivers on the road, and speeding at nighttime when it is very dark out only increases the risk of causing an accident. It is important to follow the posted speed limit signs to ensure the utmost safety when driving. In order to avoid speeding remember the following:

  • The posted speed limits signs are there for your safety as well as the safety of other drivers.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, so you won’t feel the need to speed.
  • If you tend speed or drive recklessly when in a bad mood, try to calm yourself down before getting behind the wheel.
  • If other drivers are causing you to become impatient, try to relax and safely get around them.
  • Know that speeding puts your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of other drivers at risk.

Speeding is reckless and can lead to injury, so make sure to follow the posted speed limit signs to help ensure a safe arrival to any and all destinations.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.