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Researchers estimate that an automobile accident occurs on the highway every 60 seconds. Nearly 40,000 Americans die in accidents each year, and nearly 2.5 million are injured during a wreck. If you haven’t experienced a wreck on the highway yet, you are likely to experience it at least once or twice during your lifetime. However, there are ways that you can keep yourself safe on the highways. Here are some tips for highway safety.
When You’re on Vacation
No one wants to experience an accident when they are on vacation. Because so many people–over 85%–use highways to get to a vacation destination, it is wise to get some tips for highway safety. The first tip you need to follow is to get your car thoroughly checked out before you head out on the road. You really need to have your tires checked, as many accidents occur due to a blowout from a flat tire. Have all of your oils and fluids checked as well, and don’t forget about your brakes.
Next, you will want to keep your distance from other vehicles on the highway, especially large trucks. There are nearly 6 million trucks on the highways in the United States at any given time. According to Susan Fransen, attorney at Chicago car accident law firm Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, “nearly 10 percent of accidents involving 18-wheelers are fatal, so drivers need to keep a close eye on these massive vehicles.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that drivers keep three seconds of distance between their car and another car in front of them when driving on the highway. You should keep six seconds of distance between your car and a semi-truck. That’s because it takes trucks far longer to stop in an emergency than it does a car. If you are driving in rain, sleet, or snow, you need to leave even more distance between your car and other vehicles.
Avoiding Accidents While On The Job
Accidents on the job while driving accounts for some serious statistics. The number one cause of death while on the job is due to accidents while driving a company vehicle. You will want to avoid accidents on the job by taking some simple steps. First, you need to make sure that you are following the scheduled maintenance on your company vehicle. Preventative maintenance on work vehicles is often not done, so you need to make sure that it is done.
Second, it is really challenging for employees to avoid texting and driving, or talking on the phone while driving. Researchers estimate that one out of every four accidents in company vehicles are caused by texting or talking while driving. Employees are busier than ever these days, and it can be really tempting to pick up your phone to answer an email or a text from your boss or co-worker. If you really need to take a call or read a text, pull over on the shoulder of the highway. Better yet, wait to take a call or text when you are at a gas station or rest stop.
Third, many accidents occur because drivers are drowsy or they fall asleep while driving. Research indicates that not only are semi-truck drivers prone to driving while drowsy, but company vehicle drivers on the highway are also driving drowsy. Driving drowsy has the same effects as driving while drunk, including delayed reaction times, and a tendency to overcorrect. If you drive at night after your shift is over, be sure that you are alert while driving. Get fresh air into your car while driving on the highway. You can also play music or listen to a podcast to keep yourself entertained so you don’t get sleepy. If you feel drowsy, get out of the car and take a walk at a rest stop.
Always Keep Your Guard Up on The Highway
All of these tips might sound like a lot of worrying for nothing, but when it comes to avoiding accidents on the highway, they are really important. It doesn’t matter if you are driving on the highway when you are on vacation, or you’re driving when you are at work. Taking precautions ahead of time, and practicing safe driving skills can help you stay safe on the highway, no matter what kind of driving you’re doing. Remember to have your company vehicle or personal car checked regularly, and be sure to do all of your preventative maintenance. Watch your excessive speed, and keep a safe distance between vehicles. If you are paying attention on the road, you greatly reduce your chances of being in an accident.