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2020 has been a year no one could have predicted, and if you’re anything like us, you’re very much looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. On that note, we’re working to set the stage for a great next year. It’s been twenty years since Texas has had a death-free day on our roads. It’s time to #endthestreak and work toward a better future. One way we hope for a better 2021 is to see fewer serious accidents on our roads. We have gathered the 7 best ways to avoid an accident. You can join us by using the tips below, and if you want to do even more to protect yourself and your family, you can take the pledge here, and commit to never text and drive.
Even with the best-laid plans, however, things can go wrong on the road. When accidents happen, know that you are not alone. After a serious crash, you need help, and you deserve care. Thompson Law is here for you any time of day or night. Ryan L. Thompson and his team of auto injury lawyers are prepared to fight for every dollar you deserve. The insurance companies are always prepared to withhold payout and maximize their profits. You should have the help of an experienced and tough attorney when facing them.
Top 7 Ways to Avoid an Accident in 2021
Most drivers have picked up at least a couple of bad driving habits over time, so road safety reminders can help to reset those patterns. There are a few habits that can most substantially decrease your risk of experiencing an auto accident this year. In a country with over 16,000 accidents per day and over 6 million per year, every good choice we make while driving makes a difference.
1) Avoid Distractions – Distracted driving is the fastest-growing contributor to accidents. The ubiquity of cell phones and the constant multitasking of modern life pose extremely serious dangers to our safety on the road. Distracted driving contributed to 90,409 crashes in Texas in 2019. Campaigns against cell phone use are becoming common, especially texting while driving. However, there are many types of distractions. Too many or rowdy passengers, GPS use, adjusting the radio, and even talking while driving can pull your attention away from the road.
2) Don’t Drive Under the Influence – Alcohol and illegal and/or legal substances are the largest contributors to crashes during the late-night and early morning hours. The most dangerous hours are between midnight and 5am, and in urban areas like DFW, this time window accounts for 32% of total DUI events. If we eliminated the cases of drunk driving on our road this year, we could anticipate saving over 880 lives. There are so many alternatives to drinking and driving, and so much education around the topic, that there is no excuse for DUI accidents. Taking an Uber or Lyft, planning a ride, or choosing a designated driver are all great options to keep you and those around you safe.
3) Don’t Speed – Interstate and U.S. & state highways are by far the deadliest roads in the state of Texas. In 2019 there were nearly 2,000 fatal crashes on these road types alone. It is not a coincidence that the highest number of fatal traffic events occur at higher speeds. Decreased reaction time, loss of control, hydroplaning, greater crash impact, and extended stopping time are all dangers associated with higher speeds. Adding to these risks by driving above the speed limit exacerbates the dangers. Remember speed limits are set for ideal driving conditions. If there is heavy traffic, poor visibility, or some other hindrance to driving on that road, drivers need to lower their speed to compensate for these risks.
4) Limit Nighttime Driving – The highest risk hour for driving is at 9-10 pm, but during dark hours in general, the risks are higher than in the bright light of day. Dawn and dusk hours are notorious for causing difficult visibility conditions where cars can be missed. Adding to the danger with dawn and dusk driving is that some drivers may not have turned on their headlights. The natural light may be at a point where headlight sensors don’t react, or people haven’t yet thought to flip on that switch. Visibility with headlights is at best about 500 feet, which is significantly less than typical visibility during the day. Additionally, the risk of encountering fatigued drivers or intoxicated drivers is higher at nighttime.
5) Shift Your Driving Mindset – It may sound overly simple but focus on driving while you are driving. It’s impossible to calculate how many crashes would be avoided and how many lives saved if everyone consistently did this, because driver error and inattention are the greatest causes of auto accidents. Driving is not the time to multitask by returning texts and emails, finishing your morning routine, watching or reading the news, or doing any other activity that takes your eyes off the road. Focused driving doesn’t just mean keeping your eyes on the road and hands free, however. It also means focusing your mind to the task. Communicate with other drivers by signaling what you intend to do. Brake well enough in advance that no one behind you needs to slam on their brakes. Take care when merging. Focusing attention while on the road makes you and those around you safer for it.
6) Maintain Your Car – Car care can be expensive, undoubtedly. However, taking basic steps to maintain your vehicle as recommended by professionals can make a great difference in your safety. Be sure to get your vehicle inspected annually. Keep your headlights, taillights, and windshield wipers in good working order. Do regular checks of your engine oil and tire pressure. When dashboard lights come on alerting you to an issue, get them checked out. These small maintenance items throughout the life of your car can help ensure that you have a roadworthy vehicle wherever you drive and limit your risk of mechanical issues that may cause accidents. If a recall is issued for your vehicle, take it to the dealership as soon as possible for necessary repairs. Recall repairs are free, and recalls have been issued for serious reasons! You can check for any open recalls on your vehicle here.
7) Get Practice – This may seem like it is aimed at younger or inexperienced drivers, and to a great extent that’s true. Like anything, driving takes practice, and you improve with more experience. With COVID-19 adjustments in effect for much for the year, there have been exceptions made to more standard rules in obtaining or maintaining a drivers’ license. The driver age with the most accidents is 19. However, every driver age between 18 and 30 reported over 20,000 crashes in Texas in 2019. So, it’s not only teenagers that need to brush up! Take extra care if you’ll be driving in a new environment or different conditions.
Even while we are planning for a great 2021, these rules absolutely apply any time! The upcoming holiday season in particular poses special dangers. More people are on the road, driving cross country or in less familiar places to visit family and friends. The weather gets colder, bringing dangers like ice and snow, and the days get shorter which means dark driving hours increase. Take extra care behind the wheel during these times. Focus on what is important while you are behind the wheel, and leave the distractions and reckless decisions behind.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Thompson Law is Here to Help.
If you have recently suffered a car or truck accident, we feel for you. Auto accidents not only inconvenience you by derailing your day, they can also have long-lasting implications to your health and your finances. When you have been hurt in an accident by someone’s careless or reckless driving, you should not have to put up with pain and expenses as a result.
This is where your dedicated catastrophic injury lawyer comes in. With the help of Thompson Law, you can enter an insurance claim or a negotiation with confidence, knowing that experienced and tenacious attorneys are with you every step of the way. Our firm is driven to help our clients win the absolute best possible auto accident case results. Our team is also dedicated to providing a 5-star client experience throughout your entire case process. We truly understand the stress and turmoil a serious accident can cause on your life and it is our mission to help.
For questions about your situation, or to find out more about how Thompson Law can help, reach out anytime. Our experienced staff is standing by 24/7/365 to take your call or message. We offer 100% free consultations. In 15 minutes or less, you can be on the road to recovery with an attorney getting to work on your case. Join our thousands of clients, for whom we have won over $1.8 billion, and see how Thompson Law will get you the help you deserve.
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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have experienced a car accident, truck accident or any personal injury incident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on a smooth path to recovery and your deserved compensation. If you’ve been hesitating to reach out, don’t delay any further. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim.