Police have re-opened the northbound lanes of I-85 in Gwinnett County following a multi-vehicle car accident during the early morning hours. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, six vehicles were involved in the accident. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of serious injury.
Multi-vehicle accidents such as this one are unfortunately common place in metro Atlanta. This is especially true during the work week when many metro Atlanta residents commute into the city for work. In fact, statistics show that 86% of the U.S. workforce drives to work each day. On average, commuters spend 38 hours per year stuck in traffic and Atlanta ranks seventh among the “Worst Traffic Cities.” Understandably, this puts commuters at greater risk of being involved in a car accident. Experts have offered several important safe driving tips to improve safety on the daily commute.
Safe Commuting Tips
Choose a Safe Car
When shopping for a car, choose one based not only on looks and comfort but also its safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluates vehicles for safety and provides ratings based on vehicle performance in both front and side collisions. Such testing shows how well vehicle technology minimizes impact and injury. At a minimum, commuters should focus on safety features, like air bags and child restraint features that work with car and booster seats. Additional features that improve safety include tire pressure monitors, lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, and traction or stability control.
While it’s tempting to “multitask” on a boring commute, safety data shows that cell phone use, eating and drinking, and other distractions can make your car ride risky. Distracted driving dangers are on the rise: in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. Even hands-free devices can cause a driving safety risk when you’re distracted by conversation. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon. Many state governments are starting to enforce laws regulating distracted driving to help limit the risks of talking and texting on the road.
Increase Following Distance
Increasing your space cushion between your vehicle and one you are following is a simple and safe way to avoid a fender-bender or worse. At highway speeds, a vehicle should leave one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed, plus an additional car length when weather conditions are not ideal.
Avoid Aggressive Drivers
Unfortunately, some drivers operate their vehicles as if they are racing in the Indy 500. These drivers put others at an increased risk for being involved in a car accident. When confronted with aggressive driving, take the defensive-driving approach by slowing your vehicle and allow them to pass. You should also increase your following distance to avoid a rear-end collision. Some communities even have a local tip line to report aggressive incidents. If your community does not have such a service, report aggressive drivers to the local authorities and be prepared to provide a vehicle description.
These simple steps will make your commute more pleasant. In addition, by following these tips you will decrease your chances of being involved in a car accident.
What to do if you are injured in a car accident:
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident caused by a DUI driver, please call the attorneys at Glass & Robson at (404) 751-4702 for a free consultation. The attorneys at our firm have handled numerous cases for car accident victims hurt by DUI drivers and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you.