The second leading cause of injury related hospitalizations in New York is car accidents, following only slip and fall accidents. While some car crashes occur due to circumstances outside of the driver's control, often these crashes are preventable as long as you drive safely.
Here are some of the top ways to drive safely and help prevent car accidents. If you've been injured in a car crash due to someone else's negligence, contact auto accident attorney Reid B. Wissner for a free consultation.
1. Don't Speed
Driving too fast slows your ability to react to sudden changes, such as a car in front of you braking abruptly, a pedestrian jaywalking, or an unexpected large pothole or wild animal, among others. In addition, the faster you are going, the higher the chances of severe injury following a crash.
While driving with the flow of traffic a few miles over the speed limit is generally considered safe, keep an eye on your speed and make sure you're ready to react to new circumstances.
2. Don't Drink and Drive
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Your judgment and reaction times are impaired, and your motor skills are impaired as well, making it difficult to stay in your lane or react appropriately to things like red lights, stop signs, or other traffic signals.
If you know that you'll be drinking, make sure to have alternative transportation arrangements, whether that's a designated driver, a cab or ride sharing service, or simply not leaving your friend's house or bar until you've sobered up.
3. Stay Focused
Distracted driving has become a leading cause of car accidents, mainly due to the advent of smartphones. Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, and accidents can and do happen in the seconds or minutes it takes to read or send a text.
Other examples of distracted driving include putting on makeup, eating or drinking, talking on the phone without using a Bluetooth headset, or engaging in a heated discussion with a passenger that causes you to take your eyes off the road.
4. Stay Alert
Drowsy driving is another big cause of auto accidents. Falling asleep at the wheel or closing your eyes for a short time can have huge consequences. Drowsy driving is more often a concern for long haul truckers, and is a leading cause of truck accidents, but it can affect any driver who hasn't gotten enough sleep or is on a long distance trip without enough stops planned.
5. Don't Drive Aggressively
Aggressive driving is ubiquitous in notoriously impatient New York, and accounts for over half of all auto accidents. Aggressive driving can include behaviors like excessive speeding, tailgating, weaving between lanes, and failure to yield the right of way.
The best way to avoid aggressive driving is to obey all traffic laws, stay calm, and if you see someone else driving recklessly, either report them or try to stay out of their way.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else's dangerous driving, don't hesitate to contact the Reid B. Wissner Law Offices today at 212-406-9288 to schedule your free case evaluation in New York. We serve clients in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.