It’s January and that means it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. While most people think about getting healthier or spending more time with family, we are proposing that drivers make resolutions to keep themselves – and everyone else – safe on the roads. When you consider that 98% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver error, it just makes sense. If all drivers committed to our top 10 resolutions, so many accidents and injuries could be avoided.
10 New Year’s Resolutions for Drivers
- Avoid distractions
Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of accidents and fatalities every year. Activities like texting and driving, getting into a heated discussion, eating, and applying makeup all contribute to an increased risk of accidents. Commit to setting your phone aside and avoiding other distractions when you are driving.
- Take a driving class
The way our driving system is set up, most of us have at least a few driving lessons before we take our road test and then we never take lessons again. Taking a driving class on defensive driving, performance driving, or racing is a great way to increase your driving skills and reduce your chances of causing or being involved in an accident.
- Check your tires
According to an NHTSA study, under-inflated and worn tires increase the risk of car accidents. Once your tires are close to failure it can be difficult to prevent an accident so it’s a good idea to check your tires now to make sure they’re fully inflated and have appropriate tread left. If your tires are dangerously worn down, it’s a good idea to start looking for a new set of tires.
- Consistently use your turn signals
Accidents can be caused by unexpected moves, such as lane changes and turns. Turn signals let other drivers and pedestrians on the road know what move you’re about to take so make it a new year’s resolution to consistently use your turn signals.
- Check your brake pads
Failing brakes are the stuff of nightmares; no one wants to apply the brakes and be unable to stop. This January, check your brake pads and shoes for wear and tear – and replace them as necessary. You may also want to have brake dust cleaned off at a shop.
- Create an emergency kit for your car
It’s winter and that means it’s cold here in Whatcom County. This is a great time of year to make sure that you have an emergency kit for your car complete with a blanket(s), non-perishable snacks, flares, a flashlight, and a change of clothes. A first-aid kid is also a must.
- Use lanes appropriately
Treat the left lane as a passing lane (as it is intended to be) and don’t hog it by camping out in it. Move into it to pass a slower moving vehicle and then move back over to the right lane (unless there is a steady stream of traffic in the right lane).
- Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Driving drugged or drunk increases our risk of being in a car accident exponentially and is responsible for thousands of accidents and traffic fatalities every year. If you commit to one thing this year, commit to never getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs that alter your ability to drive.
- Don’t drive when you’re sleep deprived
Falling asleep at the wheel is a real risk and one that should be avoided. If you are taking a road trip or know that you will be setting out early in the morning, make sure that you get enough sleep. If you find yourself dozing on the road, it’s time to pull over.
- Don’t drive when you’re angry
Road rage is a huge source of problems on the roads. There are enough frustrating things like traffic jams that can make our blood boil once we get out there, so starting off your trip angry is just a bad idea.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!