There are many different factors that can play a role in causing a car accident. Here are several considerations to take into account to help minimize your chances of being injured or injuring someone else in a car accident.
- Worn Out Tires
Tire maintenance is crucial to having a safe and properly maintained vehicle. If your tires have no pressure or have limited tread, it can adversely affect steering and the ability to control your vehicle, which can increase your risk of being involved in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 35% of car accidents are caused by overly worn tires. For passenger vehicles, Georgia law requires a minimum of 2/32nds of an inch in all major tread grooves. For commercial motor vehicles, all drive tires must have a minimum of 2/32nds of an inch in all major tread grooves while the steering tires must have a minimum of 4/32nds of an inch in all major tread grooves. With little to no tread on the tires, it’s extremely difficult for the tires to create grip and friction with the road, causing drivers to easily lose control of their vehicles, especially in wet conditions. Insufficient tread depth increases one’s chances of hydroplaning and losing control. Thus, it is crucial to regularly check the tread depths on your vehicle each time you change the oil in your vehicle.
- Cellular Phones and Devices
In today’s world, people are glued to their phones. The pings and buzzes of calls, texts, emails, notifications, navigation, and more are distracting, especially when driving. Attempting to text and drive is not only extremely dangerous but also illegal in the State of Georgia. In 2019 alone, there were over 3,000 deaths and 420,000 injuries caused by car accidents with distracted drivers. While many think they are only looking at their phone for a few seconds, NHTSA has found that driving for five distracted seconds at a speed of 55 miles per hour is the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
In many states, including Georgia, lawmakers have passed “Hands-Free” driving laws to help prevent cell phone use while driving. There are several ways you can help prevent being distracted by your phone while driving, including putting it in “silent” mode, only using hands-free devices to place or answer calls, or putting it in a location where you cannot reach it. If you must call, text, or email while on the road, please pull over or wait until you arrive at your destination. Remember, one text message is not worth the risk of causing a car accident that can lead to deadly consequences. As the old saying goes, “It Can Wait”!
If you spend a significant amount of time in your car, you may keep items in the side-door compartments or by your feet. Don’t do this! Clutter can easily dislodge and find its way behind your pedals, preventing you from being able to press on the gas or brake. It will also be nearly impossible to remove the item from behind the pedals while keeping your eyes and focus on the road, increasing your chances of causing a car accident. Instead, keep items on the passenger side or in the back.
- Faulty Brakes
Issues with a vehicle’s brakes are one of the leading causes of car accidents. If your brakes are not working properly, you may not be able to stop in time to prevent hitting another vehicle. Common problems with a vehicle’s brake system include worn brake pads, low or contaminated brake fluid, and/or damaged rotors. To keep your brakes in good working condition, keep an ear out if your brakes are starting to sound squeaky, and have your brakes checked at least every 30,000 miles. Also make sure to check the brake fluid levels and color of the fluid, which is supposed to be clear with just a hint of yellow (like motor oil). If your brake fluid is brown or black, it is time to have it flushed and replaced with new brake fluid.
If you have recently been involved in a car accident, you should need an excellent personal injury attorney on your side. The lawyers of Glass & Robson work every day representing injured motorists to help them get maximum compensation for their injuries. Having legal guidance and representation will allow you to focus on your recovery and recuperation. To discuss a potential case, schedule a consultation with us today.