The state of Florida sees 200,000 auto accidents a year, caused by a wide variety of factors. Most auto accidents are preventable, either by making the decision to not drive when it is dangerous, or by maintaining a strict focus on the road and your surroundings.
As the summer approaches and more people hit the road for summer vacations, it is good to refresh your knowledge on safe driving techniques.
Below are 4 tips for driving safely on Florida roads.
Put Down the Phone. Distracted driving causes 1 in 4 accidents and fatalities every year. Set a good example for your children, passengers, and other drivers on the road by keeping away from your phone while driving. You can put it in your glove box, briefcase, the center console – it doesn’t matter so long as you can’t access it. And if you have children of driving age, talk to them about the dangers of distracted driving, because it is something that affects and is committed by a higher proportion of teenagers and young adults than any other age group.
Don’t Hog the Road. You will not just encounter cars and trucks on the road, so be aware of your space and your surroundings.
Be aware of motorists and cyclists. Not every road has proper bike lanes put in place, and parked cars, construction, or other obstructions may block existing bike lanes. Cyclists may have to share your lane, so mind your speed and maintain a good distance if you are driving behind one.
Also remember that emergency vehicles need your help in getting to their destination so they can perform their jobs safely and quickly. If an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road, do your best to move out of their way into a separate lane. If you hear an emergency vehicle approaching, pull over and let them pass you (if you can do so safely).
Be Careful in Inclement Weather. Florida weather can be nasty, unpredictable, and even downright dangerous. When visibility is low due to inclement weather, you may feel the urge to drive faster and get off the road. Be careful. Remember that when you have trouble seeing what is ahead of you or around you, other drivers on the road may not be able to see you either. Drive slowly, proceed with caution, use turn signals early, and turn on your low beams if it will help you see. Pull over or postpone your trip if you need to.
Be Aware of Holiday Traffic. Florida is home to beautiful beaches and popular tourist destinations. Many drivers on the road are new to Florida roads and may not be aware of their next turn. Keeping a good distance behind cars on the road will give you time and space in case a car has to make a sudden turn or stop while figuring out directions.
Hand Over Your Keys if You Can’t Drive. Driving under the influence causes nearly 1 in 3 traffic-related deaths each year. You can also be issued large fines and even jail time if you are caught driving under the influence. If you feel the effects of alcohol before driving and even briefly question your abilities to safely drive your vehicle, give your keys to someone else.
Even if you need to call a cab, the inconvenience and costs are miniscule compared to the consequences of getting yourself in an accident or taking another person’s life. On vacations, choose a designated driver who will refrain from alcohol for the night.
Fatigue can be just as dangerous as intoxication. Struggling to keep yourself awake and alert can be just as distracting as a cell phone or electronics. If you are too tired to drive, hand over your keys to a more awake driver or pull over where it is possible so you can get some rest.
Even with careful preparation and focused driving skills, you can’t always prepare for what other drivers are going to do. If you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident and feel that you deserve compensation for your damages or injuries, contact a Florida car accident attorney today.