Tips to Preventing Car Accidents on Busy Highways in Indiana
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Apr 03, 2017 in Car Accidents
With eight people dying in accidents on U.S. 20 in recent months, officers from the La Porte County Sheriff's Department have declared this highway to be the most dangerous roadway in the county.
Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak's auto accident lawyers in South Bend urge you to use extra caution when traveling on U.S. 20 and any other highways or interstate roadways in the state of Indiana.
You should also follow these tips from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to reduce the risk of an accident and lower the risk of serious injury if you are involved in a crash:
Never Drink and Drive
Each year, impaired driving is a leading cause of death and injury from traffic accidents. In fact, someone is killed by an impaired driver every 30 seconds.
That is why you should never drink and drive, even if you consumed a small amount of alcohol. INDOT advises you to make alternative plans for transportation before you go out, including:
- Having a designated driver who will not drink
- Arranging to spend the night if the event is at a friend's house
- Using mass transit
- Calling a taxicab
- Having a friend come and pick you up
You can also help prevent others from being hurt or killed by a drunk driver by calling the police if you spot a drunk driver.
Avoid Aggressive Driving
It is always best to drive defensively rather than aggressively. Driving aggressively often causes people to take unnecessary risks that increase the chances of an accident.
You also need to avoid letting other drivers get to you, as this can lead to aggressive driving. This means:
- Doing your best to safely get out of the way of aggressive drivers
- Not challenging aggressive drivers by speeding to keep up with them
- Avoiding eye contact with aggressive drivers
- Ignoring gestures by other drivers
One of the fastest-growing threats to your safety on the road is distracted driving, which is anything that takes your attention away from driving. This includes activities that occupy the mind, eyes, ears or hands, such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Personal grooming
- Using the car stereo
- Changing settings on the air conditioning
- Reaching for something
- Using an onboard or handheld navigation system
You should make any adjustments to things like the stereo or GPS before you start your trip. You should also make phone calls or send texts before hitting the road. If you absolutely have to send a text or call someone while on the road, have a passenger do it.
Unfortunately, a large majority of drivers of all ages engage in risky driving behaviors, such as texting while driving.
Avoid Drowsy Driving
The best way to prevent a car accident is to have strong focus on the task of driving. This becomes much more difficult if you are tired. That is why INDOT advises you to:
- Make sure you get enough sleep
- Avoid long drives at night, as glare from your dashboard and lights outside of your car can make you sleepy
- Drive with your head up and shoulders back
- Keep your legs flexed at a 45-degree angle
- If you are on a long drive, stop every two hours or so, get out of the car and walk around or do light exercise to fight fatigue
Share the Road
You need to keep an eye out for pedestrians, bicycle-riders, motorcycles and trucks.
- Avoid blind spots on the side of passenger trucks
- Leave a lot of room for trucks to turn
- Avoid sudden stops in front of trucks as they take longer to stop
- Stay at least two seconds behind motorcycles
- Watch for motorcycles on left turns, because that is when most car versus motorcycle crashes occur
Pedestrians and Bicyclists
- Always stop at crosswalks and intersections
- Drive the speed limit
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists when turning at a green light
- Slow down when passing bike riders
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
Simply wearing your seat belt reduces the risk of death in a car crash by 60 percent. That is why you should always buckle up and make sure your passengers are buckled up as well, particularly children.
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you may be involved in a car accident. If you suffer injuries, contact our South Bend personal injury attorneys for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Our car accident attorneys can manage every aspect of your car accident claim and may be able to obtain fair compensation for damages.