Roads are becoming increasingly dangerous. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released data that there were about 42,915 deaths from road crashes in 2021. It represents the highest number of fatalities from vehicular accidents since 2005 or in the previous 16 years.
In Australia, the government released data showing that road accident deaths increased by 2.7 percent from April 2021 to April 2022. It represents the largest annual increase in road fatalities since 2018.
In this situation, how do you improve your chances of safety on the road? Here are some tips.
Install a Hidden Dashboard Camera
A dash cam installation can be your first step in improving road safety. By recording everything that happens on the road, you have visual evidence in case of an accident. Most dash cams, however, are bulky and take up a lot of space. They can, therefore, obstruct part of the driver’s view and can also be distracting. By choosing to install a hidden dash cam, you avoid this problem.
Another advantage of a hidden dash cam is that thieves will not notice it. You can set it up to record not only what is in front of the vehicle but also what is within it. Furthermore, you can choose a hidden dash cam that is motion-activated. That way, when criminals break into your vehicle, they are recorded and can later be identified. Since they cannot detect the dash cam, they cannot cover, destroy, or steal it.
Wear a Seat Belt
This is a no-brainer but always wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a car. Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to reduce fatalities in car accidents. In fact, the NHTSA reports that seat belts save over 14,000 lives annually on average.
That could have increased by 2,600 more lives yearly if the car crash fatalities aged five and older wore seat belts. The NHTSA calls for seat belt use for both front and rear seats.
If you have children, the NHTSA recommends that they be in the rear of the vehicle, buckled up in age-appropriate seats. That means rear-facing car seats for children younger than two. It supports their whole body in the event of a crash. Children from age two to eight can be seated in a front-facing child seat with a harness, still in the rear of the vehicle.
Beyond the age of eight, children must be in booster seats that enable them to use the rear safety belt for adults. These must be placed properly so as not to cut into their neck or abdomen. They must use the booster seat until they outgrow it. By using child safety seats, you increase the child’s chances of surviving a car crash.
Obey the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Obeying the speed limit is an easy way to reduce your risk of being involved in a car crash.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that in 2020, speeding contributed to 26 percent of car crash fatalities or 11,258 deaths. That is because speeding increases your chances of getting into an accident and makes the impact of a crash much worse. The faster you are going, the harder it will be to stop or slow down, and the more likely you are to lose control of your vehicle.
In poor weather conditions, such as rain or snow, you should reduce your speed even further. It takes longer to stop on wet or icy roads, so you need to give yourself more time to brake.
Do Not Get Distracted When Driving
In 2020, distracted driving resulted in 3,142 car crash fatalities. That is an increase of nine percent from 2019.
Texting while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. It takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off of driving. Other forms of distracted driving include talking on the phone whether hands-free or not, changing the music, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, and looking at something inside or outside of the car.
Just five seconds of distraction at a speed of 55 mph is comparable to driving with closed eyes through the length of a football field. If you must do any of these things, pull over to a safe location first.
Do Not Drive When Drowsy
Drowsy driving is a form of distracted driving. It can also lead to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. This is common and extremely dangerous.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, up to 27 percent of drivers go on the road even if they could hardly keep their eyes open. The NSC states that this causes 100,000 car crashes with 1,550 deaths yearly.
You should not drive if you are tired because fatigue causes drowsiness. If you plan on driving long distances, make sure to take breaks every two hours or 100 miles, whichever comes first.
Stay Safe on the Road
Road safety is important. This article has outlined some tips to help you stay safe while driving or riding in a car. These include wearing a seat belt, obeying the speed limit, not getting distracted when driving, and not driving when drowsy. By following these tips, you can reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident. Install a hidden dash cam for further protection and stay safe on the road.