Thursday, February 11, 2016

Become a Better Clearwater Driver In 2016

It is only February, 2016.  If you did not make a New Year’s resolution, maybe you should consider making one to become a better Clearwater driver in 2016.  To do that, here is what you need to know about Florida automobile accident statistics, how you can improve your driving, and what to do if you are ever involved in an auto accident in Clearwater.  And, if you resolve to become a better driver, you may save the life of someone else or even your own life. 

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles [1] provides that in 2015 there were 372,208 automobile accidents, with 2,817 traffic fatalities and total injuries of 242,393.  In Pinellas County alone, there were 19,004 automobile accidents, including 101 traffic fatalities and 10,957 total injuries. 

There are many serious injuries that an individual can sustain in an automobile accident including, but not limited to:

·      Back and neck injuries
·      Spinal cord and spinal column injuries
·      Broken bones or fractures
·      External injuries
·      Internal bleeding
·      Traumatic brain injuries or concussions

Most of these injuries are preventable because the majority of automobile accidents are preventable.  A New Year’s resolution to become a better Clearwater driver may become a big part of the over solution. 

Learn Safe Driving Habits

Here are a few safe driving habits that are important to improve your safe driving habits:

1.    Do Not Drive Distracted:  There are many potential distractions for a driver including a cellular telephone, the radio, children in the backseat, trying to eat while driving and even a cup of coffee.  Focusing on the task of driving is necessary for overall driving safety.  In 2013, there were 3,143 individuals killed [2] in automobile accidents involving a distracted driver. 

2.    Be Patient:  Driving without patience can be a cause of accidents whether it involves failing to wait for a red light, failing to wait to turn or speeding.  Learning to leave early and to drive with patience can lead to safer driving habits.

3.    Allow a Safe Distance:  It is important to leave sufficient space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.  AARP [3] recommends the following for creating a safe space:  When the vehicle ahead passes a fixed object, start counting seconds until you pass the same spot or reference point.  Allow three seconds when you are driving a car or van and three seconds for a truck.  Even more time is necessary for a tractor trailer.

4.    Make Safe Turns:  AARP also recommends making safe turns.
o   Right Turns:  Start close to the curb and do not drive wide to the left. 

o   Left Turns:  Do not make your turn too short.  Pull far enough into the intersection to make a proper, safe turn.  If the traffic situation does not permit an immediate safe turn, do not turn your front wheels while waiting.  If the wheels of a vehicle are turned and the vehicle is struck from behind, the automobile will be pushed into oncoming traffic. 

o   Communicate:  When making turns, be sure to communicate your intentions through the use of signals.  

5.    Backing Up: Backing up a vehicle can be dangerous even for a safe driver.  Use mirrors and, where necessary, get out and check the area you are backing into for dangers such as potholes, poles, signs and pedestrians.  It is also important to watch for overhead obstructions, such as utility wires, signs or overhangs. 

Clearwater Lawyers for Automobile Accident Victims

Driving safely can reduce your risk of being involved in an accident with injuries, can prevent a traffic citation from being issued and may assist to keep your insurance premiums lower.  Even a safe driver can still be involved in an automobile accident, however.  If you are involved in an accident and your are harmed as a result, it is important to speak to a Clearwater automobile accident lawyer.  The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group can review your case, assist with the filing of claims or in dealing with insurance companies and, where appropriate, to file a lawsuit on your behalf.   Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900