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10 Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Car Accident on the Road


No driver wants to be involved in a collision while they are simply trying to reach their destination, but the unfortunate truth of getting behind the wheel is that accidents can happen. Whether you are taking a trip to the grocery store or embarking on a multi-state road trip, road hazards, reckless drivers, and other issues can all potentially lead to an accident. Learning how to reduce this risk and keep yourself safe on the road is something all drivers should be doing. 

How common are car accidents?

To put just how common car accidents are into perspective, it’s estimated that around 1.3 million people die from car crashes on an annual basis with an additional 20-50 million people suffering a variety of injuries. The cost of car accidents on roadways globally makes up as much as 3% of their total gross domestic product, with 90% of these accidents occurring in low to middle income countries. 

Leading causes of car accidents globally 

The first step towards learning how to reduce the risk of a car accident is identifying the common causes that can lead to an accident around the world. In the majority of cases, the most prominent reasons a car accident occurs include:

  • Poor weather conditions that drivers are unfamiliar driving in
  • Mechanical breakdowns occurring on the road
  • Reckless drivers acting without regard for other people
  • Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving via cellphones, food, arguments, or other distractions
  • Drivers getting behind the wheel without having adequate sleep 

10 ways to reduce your risk of an accident

There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of a car accident from occurring that go beyond just recognizing the signs an accident may be about to occur. Each of the following ten tips can help a driver improve their skills on the road while staying safe:  

1. Scan the road far ahead of your vehicle

One of the best ways to be a safer driver on the road is to always keep an eye out for road hazards. The best way to go about this is to scan the road at least twelve seconds ahead of your vehicle for hazards, traffic, or anything else which would require quick action on your part. To gauge how far twelve seconds is, start counting when you reach a milestone on the road and stop once you get to twelve seconds. 

2. Leave enough space between yourself and other vehicles

The second way to maximize the reaction time a person has on the road is to leave enough space between yourself and other vehicles that are on the road. Ideally, three-to-four seconds of space is what should exist between vehicles on the road to maximize this reaction time. 

3. Always take the time to buckle up

Seat belts save lives for a reason which is why it’s so important to always buckle up before hitting the open road. Going further, make sure that everybody who gets in your car is buckled up as well before you get going, as you have a responsibility as a driver to ensure all passengers are secure.

4. Handle any distractions before getting on the road

In the modern day, cell phones have enabled people to achieve communication that has never been seen before. However, it is extremely distracting which is why it’s so important to take care of distractions before putting your car into drive. 

5. Practice driving in poor weather conditions

A driver attempting to drive around in weather they have never experienced before is a quick way to cause an accident. Whether it’s driving in snow, heavy rain, intense wind, or even intense heat, all weather conditions require different skills related to driving. Knowing how to drive in all types of weather is the best way to avoid an accident. 

6. Never drink and drive (or use other substances)

It should go without saying that drinking and driving should never be done. Believe it or not, drunk driving claims 28 lives every day in the U.S. alone, not even taking into account the far larger global amount. Never mix driving with substances of any kind. 

7. Limit the amount of driving you do at night

Regardless of how well you believe you see, driving at night can lead to vision problems for even those with the best of vision. Whether it’s missing a stop sign or failing to see a vehicle making a maneuver, there are various hazards which can occur when the sun goes down, so limit the amount of driving you do at night. 

8. Get plenty of sleep before getting behind the wheel

Building off of the prior point, drowsy driving is another leading cause of car accidents around the world. Be sure that you are properly rested before ever getting behind the wheel, as drowsiness can be as dangerous as being drunk in certain situations. 

9. Always respect the rules of the road

Reckless driving is always extremely dangerous which is why it’s important to be a responsible driver. Always obey traffic laws and keep an eye out for drivers who may not be following the law. 

10. Be defensive, not offensive 

Finally, all drivers need to be defensive on the road as opposed to offensive. Always watch for the signs that an accident may be about to occur so that you can take evasive action to avoid the issue. Additionally, rather than tailgating a driver who is driving poorly out of anger, allow them to leave and simply report them. 

Protect yourself on roadways 

Getting behind the wheel is a major responsibility no matter how many years you have been driving which is why it’s always a good idea to refresh oneself on safety tips. Each of the above ten tips can help a person protect themselves and others on the roadway by reducing the risk of an accident occurring. In the event an accident does occur, reach out to an accredited personal injury lawyer who can help you work through the incident. 

How can I be safer driving on the road? Transportation, Automobile Safety, Travel Tips, What are the top reasons for car accidents, and how can I avoid them?


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