To protect you from Coronavirus, we are now offering a quick easy REMOTE intake process. Get our team of attorneys working on your case immediately without risk. HIDE

$100 Million awarded Since 1994 6,000 Satisfied Clients

Posted On June 21, 2011 Car Accident Lawyer,Firm News

15 Ways To Stay Safe While Driving

Summer is here again in New Jersey, bringing with it bathing suits, late night bonfires and a sharp increase in automobile accidents. Every day, the offices of New Jersey personal injury attorneys are flooded by calls from people who’ve been injured by negligent, inebriated and distracted driving. Besides being dangerous, automobile accidents can be incredibly costly, especially if you have to hire a professional car accident attorney to take your case. By following these 15 simple tips, you can make sure your summer stays safe and fun.

  1. Wear Your Seat Belt. Buckling up isn’t just good advice – in New Jersey it’s the law. Wearing a seat belt is the easiest way to prevent a serious or fatal injury in an automobile accident, and there have been countless PSAs and slowmotioncrashtests to remind us of what happens when we don’t. Taking a few seconds to fasten your seat belt before driving will not only save your life if you get into a serious accident, it will spare you a costly ticket if you get caught driving without one.
  2. Don’t Drive Tired. It might be tempting to rest your eyes when you’re traversing that boring stretch of highway after a long day, but it’s imperative that you keep them where they belong: on the road. Nodding off while driving is one of the most common causes of automobile accidents, and according to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention report, 1 in 20 drivers has fallen asleep at the wheel. If you feel sleepy in the car, try opening the windows and cranking the volume on the radio to keep yourself alert. If nothing seems to help you keep your head up, find somewhere safe to pull over and stop for the night. Expedience is never worth endangering the lives of others.
  3. Observe the Right of Way. When four cars arrive at a four-way stop, which one is allowed to move first? Do you know? Can you recall when a pedestrian has the right of way over a vehicle? Keeping yourself up to speed on traffic conduct codes might seem trivial, but even a slow-moving car can cause serious damage to a passing automobile or cyclist. Knowing when you have the right of way will keep the car accident attorney away.
  4. Check Your Mirrors. Blindly changing lanes can be dangerous, especially at high speeds. Nothing is more frightening than an angry, bleating horn behind you signaling how close you just came to causing an accident. Before you start the car, make sure all of your mirrors are adjusted for maximum visibility. When you want to merge or change lanes, make sure the vehicle behind you is fully visible in your rear-view mirror before you make your move. That way, you’ll avoid causing a potentially deadly accident.
  5. Use Your Signals. It’s important to check your mirrors to make sure it’s safe for you to move around in traffic, but it’s just as important to signal your intent to other motorists. Hitting your signal five seconds before you turn will give other drivers adequate time to adjust their speed and position.
  6. Keep Your Inspection Up to Date. Yearly inspections can be tedious to keep up with, but they’re a necessary practice to ensure your safety and the safety of the Garden State’s roadways. Inspections prove that your vehicle is roadworthy – that it can withstand a crash and will not spontaneously break down on the highway where it would put both you and your fellow motorists at risk. Almost as importantly, driving when your inspection has expired is a misdemeanor in New Jersey and carries with it a $126 fine and an additional $30 court cost if you try to challenge it. That’s more than three times what a typical inspection costs. Take an hour or two and keep yourself legal.
  7. Don’t Drink and Drive. Of all the cases handled by New Jersey personal injury attorneys, accidents caused by drunk driving are often the most grave. Driving under the influence is a serious crime, and car accident attorneys across the state can testify to the tragedy that results when someone loses control of their vehicle because they’ve been drinking. A DUI conviction in New Jersey means losing your license for up to a year, over $2,000 in court costs and up to thirty days in jail. Please, if you’ve been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. Getting home is never worth getting caught.
  8. Watch Your Speed. Now that the weather is nice and the roads are clear, it can be tempting to step a little harder on the gas– especially if you’re running late. But be aware that speed limits are instated not just for your safety. They’re also for the safety of those around you. A lower speed limit may mean that the road is more dangerous, that there are twists and turns or otherwise poor conditions, or that there are children living in the area. Remember: if you’re pulled over for speeding, you will definitely be late. Police everywhere are watching out for summer speed demons, and there’s no such thing as a cheap speeding ticket. If you really want to make that meeting on time, make sure you stay within the legal speed limit.
  9. Leave Fido at Home. One of the most common sights on summer roads is a dog’s head sticking out of a car window. Though these joyrides seem harmless, a dog in the car is one of the leading causes of distracted driving. Big dogs especially can cause accidents if they get excited, because they hinder the driver’s control of the vehicle. And collisions involving a dog leaning out of a fast-moving car are almost always fatal to the canine. A quick spin around the block is one thing, but if you really love Fido, keep him out of the car. He’ll be there when you get back.
  10. Drive Defensively. If we could all read minds, there would certainly be fewer car accidents, but since we can never actually know what the drivers around us are thinking, it’s important to drive defensively. You never know when a drunk or distracted driver may swerve in front of or into you, so approach the roads with caution: always scan your surroundings so you aren’t caught unaware, be courteous and cautious when passing other vehicles and always allow yourself enough space to react to sudden changes in traffic.
  11. Watch Out for Motorcycles. Summer is the most popular time to ride motorcycles, and even though bikes are smaller and harder to see in traffic, they have the same right to the road as cars and trucks. Motorcycles don’t offer nearly the same protection in a crash as other vehicles, so it’s crucial for the rider’s sake that you are alert and aware of any and all motorcycles around you on the road. When a driver collides with an unseen motorcycle, the results can be tragic, and New Jersey personal injury attorneys are all too familiar with them.
  12. Make Sure Your Vehicle is Weather-Ready. It’s a common practice to winter-proof your vehicle, but do you make sure to summer-proof it as well? Over the winter, many of the rubber components of your vehicle’s drive train can become brittle and erode, and winter tires on a clean road don’t offer the same control as appropriate seasonal treads. Before you set out in your vehicle, take a few minutes to make sure your hoses, wipers and tires are ready for the weather.
  13. Check Your Tire Pressure. It’s not enough just to make sure your tire treads are ready for summer. Make sure that your tire pressure is appropriate, too. Low tire pressure is a common cause of car accidents, and making sure your tires are inflated to the appropriate pressure will not only make your car safer and easier to handle but will increase your gas mileage as well. Most cars come with a pressure gauge in the owner’s kit, and the appropriate pressure for the vehicle’s tires is often displayed on a sticker inside the driver’s-side door. Nearly all gas stations have air filling stations on the premises, so keeping your tires inflated this summer is a no-brainer.
  14. Put the Mascara Down. Ladies, we all know how important it is that you look stunning and presentable this summer, but trying to apply makeup while driving is just downright dangerous. If you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, then your eyes definitely aren’t on the road, and what would normally take a minute to do while you’re at home will take much longer behind the wheel. If you really don’t have enough time to apply makeup normally, allow yourself more time in the bathroom before you leave, or just find somewhere to pull over and apply your makeup so that you don’t have to explain to your car accident lawyer that your stick of mascara was the cause of a traffic accident.
  15. Leave the Cell Phone Alone. Hands down, the leading cause of distracted driving is the cell phone. Mobile phones have improved the way we communicate with one another exponentially, but they’ve also surpassed alcohol as the leading cause of fatal car accidents. Screens on modern cell phones are small – and their buttons are even smaller – so tapping out a reply to that text message costs dangerous seconds. During that time, you’re oblivious to your surroundings, so if you get a text or a phone call while driving, your instinct should be to ignore it. If that’s too hard, try turning your phone on silent so you aren’t tempted. There’s no phone call that can’t be made just as well in a parking lot. So there you have it. There are more ways than these to drive safely, but by following these 15 tips you can make sure your vehicle is safe to operate this summer. And that you are safe to operate it.