Every year, around 300 people are killed on New York’s highways as the result of a motor vehicle accident, according to the New York Department of Health. Many of these fatalities are the result of preventable causes, which could otherwise be avoided with proper care. By taking proper precautions, you can minimize your risk of an accident and help protect yourself from liability in the event that you do get into an accident. Here are a few ways to keep yourself safe when you are driving on the highway:
- Avoid speeding
- The number one contributor to motor vehicle accidents everywhere is speeding. Not only does it increase the risk of an accident, it also increases the severity of an accident when it does happen. When it comes to safety on the highway, sticking to the speed limit is the best way to keep yourself safe.
- Keep a safe distance
- Another major reason for accidents on the highway is that people do not give enough distance between themselves and the car in front of them. Ideally, you should have at least two seconds of distance between yourself and the car ahead of you, based on how fast you are going. Failing to keep a safe distance gives you less time to react to hazards on the road, especially sudden stops, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Minimize distractions
- When people talk about distracted driving, they are usually referring to cell phone use while driving. While that is bad, anything that takes your attention from driving is a potential hazard on the highway. Minimizing the number of distractions you need to deal with will make yourself, and everyone else on the highway, safer.
- Maintain your vehicle
- While poorly maintained vehicles do not often cause accidents by themselves, they often contribute to the likelihood of an accident. Underinflated tires are more likely to skid, worn out brakes are less able to bring a vehicle to a stop, and engines with old oil are more likely to overheat. Doing basic maintenance on your vehicle gives you the best chance to avoid a catastrophe if something goes wrong.
- Drive slowly in inclement weather
- We cannot control the weather, but we can make sure to take appropriate caution when we are forced to drive in bad weather conditions, especially on the highway. This means driving slowly when it is raining to avoid astroplaning, and taking it especially slowly if it is snowing or icy. While it means you will get to your destination much less quickly, it also gives you the best chance at making it home unharmed.
- Avoid driving at night
- It should not be surprising that motor vehicle accidents occur much more often at night. Even on the highway, where the road is regularly and brightly lit, the risk of an accident gets higher when it is dark outside. In addition to the problems caused by low light, people are more likely to be tired when driving at night, delaying their reaction time and making an accident more likely.
- Watch out for aggressive/erratic drivers
- Finally, to protect yourself from an accident on the highway, you need to be careful of any drivers that appear to be driving erratically or aggressively. This includes people who make rapid or frequent lane changes, people who swerve on the road, people who tailgate, or anyone else that engages in alarming driving behaviors. You may not always be able to see these people, but when you do, steer clear.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.