Every day an average of 143 million people spend time on the road in the U.S., so vehicle accidents are inevitable. The surprise is that about 58 percent of accidents involve a single vehicle. Drivers who are aware of the common risks on the road and know how to handle these incidents are less likely to become a statistic. Here are four common scenarios and how careful drivers can either avoid them entirely or reduce the impact they experience.
Tires That Fail
A flat tire at a high rate of speed can become a tragedy. It is easy for a driver to lose control as the vehicle unexpectedly pulls to the side. The surprise at the noise and movement can cause people to overreact. Drivers must stay calm.
If there is a blowout, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and allow the vehicle to slow down. Never slam on the breaks. Put on the emergency flashers and pull over to the side of the road. Do not try to replace a tire unless the vehicle is completely off the road. In many instances, it is better to have the vehicle towed, and the tire changed elsewhere.
Tire issues cause about 11,000 accidents each year. It is not possible to prevent all flats, but drivers can stop many unexpected blowouts. Check the tire pressure at every fuel stop and have a mechanic inspect tires that consistently need air. Rotate and balance the tires at every oil change and check the alignment once a year. This allows the tires to wear evenly and it gives technicians a chance to inspect the vehicle carefully.
Soft Shoulder Accidents
Shoulder-of-the-road accidents happen in a couple of ways. Some events take place when the driver drifts off the road and loses control in loose gravel. Other incidents happen as cars pull over and sink into the ground or roll down a steep embankment.
Pay attention to the road to prevent drifting. If there is a need to pull over and stop, try to safely slow down as much as possible while still on the pavement. Pay attention to avoid steep shoulders and ditches. The dirt in these areas is generally much looser than the surrounding earth and can give way under the weight of a vehicle.
Driving Through Water
Hydroplaning is the loss of control of a vehicle due to water on the road. Slow down when there is standing water and never drive across a flooded road. Keep tires properly inflated and replace as needed. Poor traction from worn out tire treads can cause vehicles to hydroplane when they would not have normally.
Reduce the pressure on a gas pedal if a vehicle begins to hydroplane. Try to steer gently away from oncoming vehicles or other hazards. Do not jerk the steering wheel too aggressively or slam on the brakes.
Hazards in Roadway
Many people only figure roadway collisions involve a vehicle hitting an animal like a deer or dog. Hazards of this type are common, but the impact could also happen with a human or something lost off another vehicle. Drivers can do little to prevent something from entering the roadway, but they can make themselves less likely to hit the item.
Closely watch the road ahead and the sides of the road. Drive an appropriate speed for the conditions, and never tailgate in case the vehicle ahead encounters a hazard. Keep the headlights clean so the night is brightly lit and replace windshield wipers regularly.
About 6 million accidents occur in the United States each year. A little preparedness can help drivers to prevent many of these events. Avoid distractions like mobile phones and eating and take care of vehicles so mechanical problems do not cause an incident. These tips and the ones previously mentioned can help you to avoid injury and keep insurance costs under control.
Contact Hadley Law Firm today
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident caused by one of these road hazards, contact the experienced professionals at Hadley Law Firm today.