Friday, June 10, 2011

“Car Survival 101- How to Keep Safe”

Every day in our law practice, we see people who are seriously injured, or have had a loved one killed in a vehicle-related accident. Many of these accidents are preventable, but people are often negligent, and do not use precautions or proper safety equipment. There are three things that you should do every time you ride in a car, or operate a motor-vehicle, that will reduce you chance of sustaining a serious injury or dying in a motor vehicle collision.

1. Never drink and drive. Statistically, over fifty percent of fatal accidents involve alcohol use as a primary factor in the cause of the crash. Make sure to have a designated driver, or call a cab, when consuming alcohol. A twenty-dollar (or less) cab ride is far less expensive than sustaining a serious injury or dying from a preventable crash. Never get behind the wheel, even in you have only had “two drinks”. Two drinks, depending on you height, weight, sex, and body type, can affect or impair your judgment and reaction time. Never drink and drive.

2. Always wear your seatbelt and shoulder harness assembly. Make it a point to never start your car, or ride as a passenger in a vehicle, unless you have an operational seatbelt and shoulder harness assembly available, and it is securely fastened. Most accidents involving the lack of seatbelt and shoulder harness use result in injuries which would not have occurred if the occupant was properly restrained. When a collision occurs, things move around in the vehicle. These “things” include you! By being restrained during a collision you will reduce the likelihood of injury, including flail injuries, as well as contact between your body parts and other portions of the vehicle (i.e. your head going through the windshield). If a vehicle does not have proper safety equipment, refuse to ride in the vehicle.

3. Keep tires and brakes in good condition. Never cut corners to save money when it comes to repairing or replacing tires or brakes. Tires and brakes can save your life. Most accidents involving a panic stop, such as in an emergency situation, or when trying to avoid debris in the road, are caused due to worn brakes and/or tires. Make it a point to do a monthly safety inspection of your vehicle. This takes less than five minutes. Check your tire pressure weekly, and if you find your car pulling to one side or the other while driving, take the vehicle into the shop to check the alignment and tire wear. If tires are irregularly worn or balding, replace them immediately. If your brakes are mushy or make noise when you apply them, have them repaired or replaced. Sometimes all you need to do is replace the brake pads in order to maintain a safe braking system. If when you brake, the car vibrates or pulls, you may need new rotors.

During your safety check, make sure your horn works, as well as your signal lights, brake lights, parking lights, and high beams. Taking time to make sure your safety devices work and that tires and brakes are in good order will help you avoid preventable accidents.

No comments:

Post a Comment