There is a possibility of getting injured in a Virginia car accident any time you get behind the wheel, but there are some precautions you can take to reduce the risk of auto crashes. Obviously, you should always obey the rules of the road, as described in the Virginia Driver’s Manual. These regulations are written with safety in mind. However, some strategies for avoiding motor vehicle collisions go beyond compliance with the law. You must operate your vehicle with a view to defensive driving and common sense, especially since others sharing the road with you may NOT. The most important tips include:
Do Not Drive While Intoxicated: You might think that you are just buzzed after a couple of cocktails, but alcohol has a significant impact even if you have consumed just one drink. Your physical capabilities are limited, and you could have blurred vision when you are driving under the influence – putting you in a poor position to react and/or avoid an accident. Leave your keys behind and call an Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
Stow Your Phone: You have heard the warning before, and it deserves repeating. Never text, talk on the phone, surf the internet, post to social media, or even pick up your phone while driving. Unless it is an emergency, your cell phone activities can wait until you stop and pull over safely.
Keep a Safe Distance Ahead: It can be tempting to follow the vehicle ahead of you too closely when you are frustrated or in a hurry. Regardless of your mood or rush, you should never tailgate. Allow one car length for every 10 miles per hour that you are traveling to keep a safe distance, in case you need to stop suddenly. Be aware that could mean six or seven car lengths while driving on Virginia highways.
Conduct Regular Inspections and Maintenance Checks: You should have a quick review of your vehicle every time you get behind the wheel, but also conduct more in-depth inspections on a regular basis. When you schedule an oil change, have your mechanic:
Watch Blind Spots: Your rear and side-view mirrors are helpful when you scan for threats, but you should also double-check your blind spots when changing lanes or making turns. If there are obstacles or visibility issues, wait until you have a clear view to make a maneuver.
Unfortunately, not all drivers are dedicated to safety. They do not follow traffic laws and refuse to exercise reasonable care when driving, thereby putting everyone on the road in jeopardy. As such, you could be badly hurt in a serious crash despite following these tips.
Fortunately, you do have legal options to recover compensation from an irresponsible, dangerous driver. To learn more about them, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to schedule a case evaluation. A Virginia auto accident attorney can assist throughout the legal process, which may include filing an insurance claim, negotiating settlement, and/or taking your case to court.