When you drive in Oklahoma, there are many risks to which you need to stay alert.
For example, inclement weather can cause your tires to lose their grip on the road and your brakes to lose their effectiveness, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Potholed or debris-filled roads can severely damage your vehicle or force you to swerve out of the way and crash.
However, nothing puts drivers at risk quite like other drivers. Every person you pass while driving has the potential to seriously injure or even kill you and your passengers by driving recklessly. Protecting yourself and your family requires driving as safely and defensively as possible.
The next time you drive, keep these tips in mind to reduce your risks.
Whether you’re driving to the corner store or on a cross-country road trip, you need to wear your seat belt—and that goes for your passengers, too. Wearing your seat belt isn’t just legally required in Oklahoma, it’s also the most important and effective way to reduce your risk of serious injury and death in a crash.
The most important aspect of defensive driving is staying alert and aware of your surroundings. When you’re distracted, you can’t react to the movements of other vehicles. That means that if a driver suddenly slams on their brakes, cuts you off, or runs a stop sign, you won’t be able to avoid a crash if your eyes are on your phone and not on the road.
If you crash, even if it’s because you were avoiding another vehicle, the speed your vehicle was traveling at has a big impact on the likelihood and severity of your injuries. By staying under the speed limit, you can reduce your risk of suffering the most severe injuries. Not speeding also gives you more control over your vehicle and more time to react when other drivers put you in danger or increase the risk of an accident.
Be Careful at Intersections
Intersections are one of the most dangerous places on the road. When you’re stopped at a red light, don’t be in a hurry to enter the intersection when you get a green light. Wait momentarily before accelerating, as this can help you avoid drivers who run red lights. At stop signs, watch drivers’ faces and make eye contact to ensure they see you before entering intersections—even when you have the right of way.
Follow at a Safe Distance
When you put plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one directly in front of you, you not only decrease your chance of rear-ending that vehicle, but also your chance of being rear-ended by the vehicle behind you. To establish a safe follow distance, wait until the vehicle in front of you passes a landmark such as a tree or building. If three or four seconds pass before reaching that same landmark, you’re following at a safe distance.
Don’t Escalate Road Rage Situations
Sometimes, crashes are caused not by negligence but by aggression and rage. You can’t predict if or when drivers around you will develop road rage, but you can control how you respond to it. If a driver is honking their horn or yelling at you or other drivers, don’t engage with them. Instead, move out of the way if possible and allow them to pass.
Stay Away from Impaired Drivers
If you see a vehicle that’s swerving, braking and accelerating erratically, or drifting in and out of a lane, there’s a good chance the driver is impaired. Keeping your distance from these drivers can help keep you and your passengers safe. You can also report an impaired driver by dialing 911 and telling the dispatcher your location and the make and model of the vehicle.
Contact Us After a Crash That Wasn’t Your Fault
It’s important to recognize and be prepared for the possibility of a crash every time you get behind the wheel. Never be complacent when you drive, no matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be on the road. Crashes can happen anywhere, including high-speed multi-lane interstates, desolate rural roads, and even parking lots.
If you’re hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, it’s important to get legal representation as soon as possible. At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we’ve helped many injured victims just like you with their compensation claims, and we can help you, too. Contact our Oklahoma auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation.