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Every year, almost 40,000 people in the United States die in automotive accidents. While vehicles are a mainstay of the modern world, it’s important to remember that a car is a multi-ton piece of metal that travels down roads at speeds upwards of 50 miles per hour. The following article provides effective ways one can protect a family from car accidents.

When operating a vehicle, it’s essential to follow defensive driving habits. While all vehicles are supposed to follow the rules of the road, many drivers will often slip into dangerous driving habits. This can include texting, speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, racing and more. All it takes is a brief lapse of attention for an accident to take place.

The best way to avoid accidents is to stay away from other vehicles on the road. While it can be tempting to tailgate another vehicle if it is driving very slowly, it’s a good idea to maintain at least a 200 foot buffer. If the vehicle in front of one’s own suddenly brakes, 200 feel will give a driver adequate room to stop safely.

In addition, it’s important to watch for signs of distracted driving. If another vehicle on the road swerves out of its lane on occasion, that driver may not be playing careful attention to the road. In addition, it’s a good idea to watch for drivers who are playing with their cell phones while driving. In many cases, these drivers will be at an increased risk of an accident.

It’s also a good idea to watch for uninsured motorists on the road. While it’s illegal to drive without automotive insurance, many people do this every day. In many cases, vehicles with expired tags will also not have automotive insurance. It’s also a good idea to look for older vehicles on the road that have lots of body damage; this can indicate that a driver may put others on the road at risk.

While it may not be practical to schedule one’s driving hours, it’s a good idea to stay off the highway on Friday and Saturday nights. More people are arrested for driving under the influence on Fridays and Saturdays than at any other time during the week. Because of this, a driver may be at an increased risk of an accident during these times. To reduce this risk, try to minimize one’s driving on late weekend nights. It’s also a good idea to avoid driving on public holidays; lots of drunk drivers may end up on the road during Independence Day, New Years Day and other celebratory events.

In addition, there are a lot of steps a driver can take to make himself or herself a safer driver. It’s important to avoid using a cell phone when driving. If an individual receives a cell phone call while he or she is driving, it’s a good idea to return that call once one is pulled off on the side of the road. If this isn’t possible, one should consider installing a wireless Bluetooth speaker in a vehicle. Some newer vehicles manufactured after 2009 come with Bluetooth technology as part of a navigation system. With a smart phone and a Bluetooth vehicle, an individual can place hands-free phone calls quickly and easily.

It’s also a good idea to avoid driving when one is very tired. Several research studies have shown that people are at an increased risk of an accident when they are very tired or sleepy. If an individual must drive when tired, it’s a good idea to drink some coffee or an energy beverage; this can be a great way to increase one’s alertness.

One should also avoid driving for more than two hours without a break. While going on vacation can be lots of fun for an individual and his or her family, many drivers try to get to their destination with a minimal number of stops. While this may seem like it will save time, it can often increase the risk of an accident. If an individual spends more than two hours in a vehicle without stopping, his or her road attention may drop. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to stop at a gas station or rest stop at least every two hours.

One should also consider taking defensive driving courses at a local DMV facility. In addition to improving one’s driving skills, this can also be a great way to lower insurance rates. Many insurance companies will provide a 10 to 20 percent discount off insurance premiums for drivers who complete a certified defensive driving course.

While driving can be a rewarding experience for an individual and his or her family, it’s important to understand the many risks that are associated with operating a vehicle. By following the right safety precautions, it’s possible to reduce the risk of a serious accident.

The Douglas and London Law Firm represents clients across the entire US. Bringing decades of experience to the courtroom, they are the premier law firm in New York. Contact Douglas and London for a free case assessment.