Every year, roughly 1.25 million people die on the roads worldwide. That’s a staggering number, and it speaks to the severity of the dangers that we face every time we get behind the wheel or hop on our motorcycles.
While some areas may be safer than others, there’s no doubt that driving is among the most dangerous everyday activities out there. When you take the road for granted, you do so at your own risk. So don’t. Instead, protect yourself. Learn what it takes to stay safe on the road, and stay one step ahead of dangerous accidents.
Remember that accident risks cannot be eliminated entirely, and make sure that you know what to do no matter what happens out there on the road. Here are a few tips for staying safe on the road — while hardly exhaustive, this list will get you started.
The right wheels
Staying safe on the road depends, to a large degree, on what you’re driving out there. Is your vehicle safe? Is it in tip-top shape and ready to respond effectively and predictably to your input? When you shop for vehicles, you should keep safety features in mind. Ask dealers about safety ratings, and remember to actually use safety features like seat belts.
Keeping up with maintenance and investing in great parts is essential, especially for vehicles like motorcycles, which are all too exposed to the dangers of the road. A new pair of Bridgestone motorcycle tires or a maintenance check-up from a certified motorcycle mechanic can go a long way toward ensuring that your bike is road-ready.
Don’t skimp on maintenance or certified parts. This is as true about other vehicles as it is about motorcycles. A vehicle that’s in good shape is more reliable, and that makes it a safer vehicle to drive.
Hopefully, you already do your best to be a safe driver. You obey all traffic laws and follow road signs and other instructions properly. You avoid drunk driving, distracted driving, and other deadly choices. But not everyone on the road is like you: some drivers are much, much worse!
With that in mind, it’s important to focus on defensive driving. While you’re on the road, assume nothing about what your fellow drivers intend to do. Never assume that they’ll use their blinkers properly or will accommodate your decisions on the road. Instead, defend yourself by anticipating other drivers’ mistakes.
Protecting your rights in the event of an accident
Whenever you take to the roads and highways, you should do so with a reliable vehicle and should drive safely. You should take great care on the road and never assume that your fellow drivers are nearly as conscientious as you are.
But here’s an unfortunate reality: there’s nothing that you can do to completely eliminate the possibility that you get involved in a car accident. No matter how much space you give to other drivers, there’s always the chance that a foolish decision or reckless choice on the part of someone else will cause an accident that hurts you.
If and when that happens, you need to know what to do. Learn and memorize an automobile accident checklist. Remember to start by focusing on health and safety: do you need to call 911? Should you get out of the car, stay in it, or move it (and yourself) somewhere safer?
When these priorities are taken care of, you can start thinking about others: calling the authorities, exchanging insurance information, and documenting the scene. You should also remember that, in the event that you are injured, you can turn to a car accident attorney for help in recovering the funds you deserve.
You’ll have to hit the road sooner or later, but the next time that you do so, focus on safety!
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