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Sometimes accidents just happen, but other times they are completely preventable. We’ve put together a list of precautions you can follow to minimize your chances of being in a car accident or at the very least reduce the severity of an accident should happen. Read on to learn more.

10. Never drive drunk
Not only is drunk driving illegal, but it’s also incredibly dangerous for you, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Alcohol impairs perception, judgment, balance and much more, making it a deadly combination when mixed with driving. If you’ve been drinking, do not drive. Plan ahead with a designated driver, call the cab or stay overnight.

9. Obey the speed limit
Some drivers see them as an inconvenience, but speed limits are in place to protect drivers and pedestrians alike. By exceeding the speed limit by just 10 km/hr, the time and distance needed for a vehicle to stop increases dramatically. Speed also directly impacts the severity and likelihood of a motor vehicle accident. The best way to stay safe is to give yourself plenty of time on the roads and obey the speed limit!

8. Avoid distracted driving
As technology continues to evolve, there are more and more ways for drivers to become distracted behind the wheel. Using your cell phone, reading a map, reaching for something in your back seat, or any other activity that takes your focus off the road is off limits! Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. If a task takes your eyes off the road, then you need to pull over, get a passenger to do it, or wait until you reach your destination.

7. Avoid driving when tired or drowsy
Nobody remembers falling asleep, it’s something that just happens. One minute you’re awake, the next you’re fast asleep. Because of this, driving while tired or drowsy can be dangerous. Let someone else drive or consider spending the night somewhere and resuming your trip when you are well-rested.

6. Wear your seatbelt
Seatbelt laws have been in effect since the mid-80s, and for a good reason; seatbelts save lives and minimize injuries in the event of a car accident. Before you start driving, always take the two seconds to buckle your seatbelt.

5. Drive for the weather conditions
Western Canada has some extreme weather conditions, especially in the winter! Like it or not, Mother Nature ultimately rules the road. If road conditions and/or visibility is poor, take your time, slow down, and be alert. Your drive may take longer, but your friends and family with thank you for being safe.

4. Follow at a safe distance
Be sure to provide enough space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you, just in case you need to make a sudden stop. Use the two-second rule to maintain a proper driving distance. When stopped at an intersection, allow for one small car length between vehicles or far enough back to see the rear wheels of the vehicle in front of you.

3. Pay attention to other drivers
Even the safest and most skilled drivers can’t control what other drivers do. This is why it’s important to always be aware of the drivers around you. Use your side view and rearview mirrors to keep an eye on vehicles around you, and always check your blind spots before turning or reversing your vehicle.

2. Ditch your road rage
Driving can get frustrating, but it’s important to keep your cool behind the wheel. Angry and aggressive driving leads to carelessness and risky behavior, which in turn leads to accidents. If you find yourself getting frustrated, pull over and take a few moments to calm down before carrying on your way.

1. Keep your vehicle well-maintained
One of the simplest ways to prevent accidents starts before you get behind the wheel. Keep up with regular vehicle maintenance, make sure you have enough fuel, and do a quick fluid check before any major trips. Anything that causes your vehicle to stall on the road makes you a hazard to other drivers.

Following these tips will help to decrease your chances of having a car accident. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact the team at Martin G. Schulz & Associates. We have over 25 years of experience in personal injury law and can help you and your family get the settlement you deserve.