Road Safety

Erith Won, Reporter

A car spins around, over 360 degrees. You watch in horror, wanting to turn away, yet unable to. The car crashes into several other vehicles and then bursts into flames. Later at home, you see on the news that there were 5 casualties from the crash.

Of course not all car crashes are that terrible, but most result in deaths, and if not, in injuries that could be permanent. On average, there are 1.6 million crashes a year and there are close to 330,000 injuries out of those. There are also 1.3 million deaths from car accidents and over 3,000 deaths every day.

In the United States, about one out of every four crashes are caused by texting while driving. Other causes could be driving while drunk, speeding, running stop signs and red lights, and driving while distracted. It’s hard to not be distracted while driving, or anything for that matter, but you should still try to stay focused on driving.

Here are a few ways to try not to get distracted:

  • Unless you need your phone for directions, keep it in a bag or just anywhere that you can’t reach. Also turn all notifications off.
  • Know where the buttons on the dashboard are so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road as often.
  • Try not to get overly emotional.
  • If you have passengers, try to talk with them as little as possible, or don’t look at them while driving.
  • Don’t put on makeup! Try to get up or get ready earlier so you won’t have to put makeup on while driving.
  • Also, keep your car clean, or at least make sure that there is nothing that will slide around and get in the way of the foot pedals.

These are a few ways to avoid getting the driver distracted:

  • Try not to talk to them too much.
  • Don’t fight/argue with them.
  • Don’t ask for them to look at something.
  • Don’t yell at them.

And, not all car accidents are because someone gets distracted. They are also the causes of drunk driving and/or slippery roads. Here are some ways to try to evade accidents in general:

  • Keep your distance from other cars; don’t get too close.
  • If you see a possible drunk driver, switch lanes.
  • When there is the possibility of a road getting flooded, take another route. It’s better to be late and safe than getting injured.
  • Drive slower when the roads are slippery.
  • Remember to turn on your signals when going left or right. You should also do this when you switch lanes.
  • Don’t speed!
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs. Yeah, obviously, but some people don’t stop and the results can be catastrophic.

Additional tips/info:

  • Wear your seatbelt
  • If you have or are riding with a child under 4ft 9in, make sure that they are in a booster seat, unless they are much younger and need an internal harness. Children under 13 shouldn’t ride in the front seat because the airbags could kill them.

So, those were some things you could do to steer (Get it? Because you’re steering the wheel when you drive.) clear from getting into an accident. It won’t always work, though. Anything can happen while driving. However, these were definitely ways to decrease your chance of getting into a car accident.