Even the most rule-abiding driver may be put at risk by the behavior of other drivers; it’s the price we pay for sharing the road. However, it is possible to minimize the danger posed by irresponsible drivers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when driving in Oklahoma City.
Minimize the distractions in your vehicle: don’t try to text, make phone calls, argue or laugh with your passengers, fiddle with the sound system, or have breakfast on-the-go when you’re driving. Keep your attention on the road so that you can anticipate problems and adjust your course to accommodate for them.
If you’re yawning or dozing off at the wheel, pull over: it’s better to be a little late than never to arrive at all. Maintain a reasonable following distance so that you have enough time to stop if the car in front of you suddenly steps on the brakes. Learn to quickly identify safe spaces to swerve or pull over if you have to avoid an obstacle, an erratic driver or a reckless pedestrian.
Learn to Communicate
Offer as much information about your intentions to other drivers as you can. Always use your turn signal if you’re going to make a turn or change lanes. Signal early enough that you don’t catch anyone by surprise, but not so early that other drivers can’t tell which of several turns you’re planning to make.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Sure, your vehicle may be squeaky clean and shiny, but what about the brakes or the engine? Check your tires regularly, keep them inflated and change them out if the treads are wearing down. Periodically check your fluids and your lights, including headlights, running lights, brake lights and turn signals.
Have your vehicle serviced according to the maintenance schedule. Learn what the brakes and engine usually sound like so that you can identify unusual noises, and keep your vehicle in good condition, so you can rely on it.
Adjust for Road Conditions
Pay attention to weather and road conditions. Slow down when you are driving in the rain or snow, and when it gets below freezing temperatures, watch for ice on the road. If it’s bright out, wear sunglasses or use sunshades. If it is foggy or raining hard enough to impair visibility, remember that you may not be able to see obstacles and traffic signals until they are very close, so back off on the gas until you are sure that you can stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
Make sure you know what kinds of weather you are likely to encounter before you set out, and practice safe driving in conditions that are common where you live. In Oklahoma, that includes heavy snow and freezing rain during the winter, and severe storms and hail in the spring. Oklahoma City’s severe weather season begins in March, usually peaks in April or May, and peters out by June.
During these times it is especially important to keep an eye on the weather report so that you know if and when you may need to adjust your driving or get off the road.
Don’t Bend the Rules
It can be tempting to do a lot of unwise things while driving: hit the gas when you see a traffic light turn yellow, drive just a little over the speed limit, pass despite a double yellow line or roll through a stop sign when no one’s around. Unfortunately, everyone else on the road is thinking the same thing. Breaking the rules of the road makes you less safe, and while it technically only takes one person to make an accident, many Oklahoma City car accidents actually result from several peoples’ poor choices adding up.
What to Do When You’re in an Oklahoma City Car Accident
Remember, not all car accidents are avoidable. Even if you drive safely, others may not. If you have been hurt because of another driver’s negligence, it’s best to have an attorney to help you get fair compensation. For more information or advice, contact us today.