These tips are from police officers and those who have first-hand experiences with car-related emergencies.
1. Pay Attention
- After interviewing police officers from around the country, we found that inattention was the number one cause of accidents. Statistics support this claim: distracted driving contributes to 16% of all fatal crashes, leading to around 5,000 deaths every year, noted the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Examples of distracted driving include talking on a cell phone, eating or drinking, reading, putting on makeup or changing the radio while driving. If you must use your cell phone, use a hands-free device while driving.
WHN TIP – Cell Phones Usage: Many states and local jurisdictions have restrictions regarding cell phones and driving. Check with your local police department about the laws in your area.
2. Slow Down
- Practice cautious driving in severe weather conditions. Read our articles on driving in the winter and driving in the rain for severe weather driving tips.
3. Have Forms, Will Travel
- Carry blank Car Accident Forms — one for Car Accident-Another Driver Involved and one for Car Accident-No Other Driver Involved — in your glove compartment just in case. Check out our What To Do After an Accident page – it walks you through what to do if you’re in a fender bender.
4. Keep It Running
- Practice good car maintenance and have your car checked at least once a year, especially before winter.
5. Car Emergency Kit: Because You Never Know
- Prepare a Car Emergency Kit with the essential items needed in the event of an emergency – spare tire, flares, food/water, antifreeze, etc. Make sure you add winter items before it gets too cold.
Photo Credit: pasja1000