According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the US. That’s why it is important to do everything that you can to keep your family safe on the road.
Here are 6 tips that can help.
1. Wear a Seatbelt
According to the NSC, every 12 minutes someone in the US is killed because of a car accident, whereas every 14 seconds someone suffers a disabling injury. Wearing a seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to car accidents.
2. Avoid Consuming Alcohol Before You Drive
Take a look at these figures:
- Nearly 40% of car crash deaths involve alcohol consumption on the part of the driver.
- In 2017, almost 2,000 people died in alcohol-related car accidents where the driver was impaired with a blood-alcohol content above the established limit.
- 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related car accident at some point in their lives.
If you know you’ll be drinking, have somebody else drive you or call an Uber.
3. Use a Child Safety Seat
Is your child safe? Using child safety seats can decrease the risk of fatal injuries by 70% in children under the age of one. However, you need to make sure that the seat is fitted correctly — research shows that 80% of car seats aren’t installed properly. The safest place for the child seat is in the middle of the back seat. If your child must ride in the front passenger seat, make sure the airbag is off.
4. Family Car Emergency Kit
If you’re often driving with your kids, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Always carry a car essentials kit in case you get stuck in traffic or your car breaks down. Your emergency kit should have enough water for all passengers, as well as snacks like dried fruit, energy bars, and nuts. In winter, there should also be a blanket to cover the kids up if it gets cold, as well as boots, hats, and gloves in case you need to leave the car. Chances are you won’t need these things but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Plan Ahead
Before setting out on a longer journey, make sure to plan your route and inform someone at your destination when you expect to get there. Check the weather forecast and if it’s unfavourable, think about whether your journey can be postponed.
In case of a breakdown or accident, be sure that you have a high visibility vest and keep it in the front of your car (in the footwell netting, glove box, or behind the front seat). Never keep the vest in the boot because if there’s an accident and you get hit from behind, you won’t have access to it. Keeping it in the front will also prevent you from leaving the car without a vest in order to get it out of the boot, which puts you at risk from other vehicles on the road. Wearing a high-visibility vest is crucial because it enables other drivers to easily spot you.
6. Winter Driving
In winter, conduct a few simple checks before starting the car: check the water, oil, tire pressure, sidelights, headlights, windscreen washer, and antifreeze. When driving in icy conditions, make sure to manoeuvre gently and use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spinning.
If You Do Have a Car Accident
Be sure that you have a road collision form so that all details can be written down at the scene. It may also be useful to have medical information and personal contact details inside the vehicle for the emergency services personnel to refer to. If the accident was complex or severe, then it’s necessary to call a lawyer immediately. Law firms like erlegal.com will help you deal with the insurance company and protect your rights.