Written by: Allan L. Ziffra, Esq.
For every 100,000 people in the United States, in 2009, 11 of them died in an auto crash.
Port Orange car crash attorneys note that in a city with a population of 100,000, there could have been 11 people killed in 2009 in car crashes. In Volusia County, with a population of about 500,000, there could have been 55 people killed.
Unfortunately Volusia didn’t match the national average. In 2009, there 94 people killed in vehicle crashes in the county. In 2010, it went up to 105. Of course, that doesn’t quite match up; because the county-by-county statistics count how many fatalities occurred, not how many county residents were killed.
Like much of Florida, Volusia County’s vehicle crash numbers are amplified because so many people visit the Sunshine State every year.
Nationally there were 10.8 million traffic accidents reported in the U.S. in 2009, the latest year statistics are available. That’s not too far from where they’ve been every year since 1990. There was a blip in 2000 when they went up to 13.4 million. That may or may not have some connection to computers freaking out over the switch to 2000. But generally that means 1 in 27 people in the U.S. could be involved in a traffic accident each year. It’s that common.
With the chances so high, what can you do to avoid becoming part of the statistics? Port Orange car crash attorneys suggest you follow these tips from Edmunds.com.
Stay out of the fast lane, which is where most highway crashes happen. The center and right lanes will allow you to get over on the shoulder of the road to avoid problems.
Keep watch on the entire area, not just the car ahead of you. You can’t just worry about what that car is going to do, but what cars in front of it are going to do, too. Keep looking down the road for what lies ahead even if there are no cars in front of you.
Kill the blind spots. You can adjust your mirrors to give you the maximum amount of view behind you, but before you change lanes or make any other move, look over shoulder, too. Stay out of others blind spots as well. The longer you stay in a blind spot, especially a big rig, the bigger the chance of something bad happening.
Keep your hands at 9 and 3 o’clock. Don’t be lazy, especially when you are in traffic. This hands position gives you the best control over your vehicle and doesn’t get in the way of your airbag.
Observe racecar drivers at the wheel. You’ll notice they stay close enough so that their wrist could rest on top of the wheel when they are sitting back. It will help keep your arms from getting fatigue and it also gives you maximum wheel control for quick maneuvers.
Stay away from dirty and damaged cars. You can tell a lot about the other driver by the condition of his vehicle. If the other driver doesn’t care about a lot of body damage or windows so dirty you can’t see through them, then he may not care about his driving either. Also, stay well back of a driver drifting from one side of the lane to another. They could be fatigued, drunk or on their cellphone.
Get to know your vehicle. Pay attention to things like whether it’s top heavy or takes a long time to come to a stop. If you have to make sudden turn, you don’t want it flipping over on you. It would be a good idea to get on a deserted road and just see how quick you can come to a stop from going 50, 60 or 70 miles an hour.
Don’t let your car go to seed. By maintaining a vehicle in good condition, you should be able to count on it giving you good service. Stick to the recommended maintenance schedule and you should be all right.
Things can go crash in the night. Avoid driving at night if you can. If you can’t, then the nighttime is when you should be driving more alertly than ever, because others on the road may not be that alert.
Hanging at the track. If you can afford it, a high-performance driving school could be a great investment. Watching NASCAR or Indy Car or other auto races, it’s amazing there aren’t more wrecks. Just think. If you could learn to avoid losing control of a car when you’re going 150 miles per hour, how good you’ll be at normal highway speeds.
Of course, there’s no way to keep another driver from hitting you if you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the better a motorist you become, the less chances you won’t become a statistic.
Remember, though, if you are injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own, the Port Orange car crash attorneys at Rue & Ziffra can advise you of your rights.
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