Car manufacturers are adding safety features to their vehicles with ever increasing frequency. Things like brake assist devices, electronic stability control, collision avoidance systems, and phone suppression devices are all extremely useful, yet the most important safety feature in your car is you.
Most of us consider ourselves to be safe drivers, yet according to data compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 35,092 people lost their lives in automobile crashes in the U.S. in 2015. Many of these accidents involved the negligence of so-called “bad drivers.”
So what are the characteristics of a safe driver?
Most people multi-task, but they shouldn’t try to do it while they’re driving. Things like talking or texting on a cell phone, drinking coffee, or even changing the radio station take your attention off the road. Driving requires that you stay focused by keeping your eyes and mind on the road. Most collisions involve at least one driver who was distracted.
Educated drivers know the rules of the road and follow them. They understand that:
- Not all states have the same laws. If you are traveling from state to state, make sure you know the traffic laws and regulations of the state in which you are driving.
- Not all cars operate alike. If you are driving a rental vehicle, make sure you know the basics regarding how to safely operate it, which might be different than the vehicle you are accustomed to driving.
- GPS systems are great, but you should still have a basic understanding of how to read a road map.
Motorists who may not be practicing safe-driving principles can trip up even the safest drivers. Being a defensive driver is the best way to protect yourself and others from accidents. When on the road, one rule of thumb is always true: expect the unexpected.
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a negligent driver, contact a personal injury lawyer at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys online, or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.