How to avoid road accidents

How to avoid road accidentsAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the old saying goes – so here’s how to prevent getting into road traffic accidents.

The last thing you want – or need, for that matter – is to get into an RTA. Not only could you end up having to write off your car if the damage is bad enough, you’re risking all sorts of personal injury with a road accident, including whiplash injury, which can be quite painful and take weeks, if not months, to recover from.

be mindful

The number of car accidents – and, by extension, personal injury claims – that are caused or contributed to by inattention is absolutely staggering. You need to avoid any and all potential distractions while you’re behind the wheel; while you can’t control the actions of other drivers or those you share the road with, by monitoring your own behaviour you can see bad situations coming down the road well before you encounter them.

There are several things you can do to be a more mindful driver, such as taking the time to always check your blind spots before changing lanes, never using your mobile phone while you’re driving, and by taking a moment to look both ways when crossing an intersection. You simply can’t rely upon other motorists obeying traffic laws, as even if you’ve got a green light, there’s nothing preventing someone else at the intersection ignoring their red light and plowing right into you because they weren’t paying proper attention!

Aggression is the enemy

You also need to keep a cool head whenever you’re going about your business in your car, as driving in an aggressive manner is the absolute best way to end up getting into a road traffic accident. Anger and frustration with other aspects of your life have no place behind the wheel with you, and losing your cool with other motorists isn’t going to help either – especially because when you’re angry or upset, you’re not thinking clearly.

Aggressive driving – such as overtaking a slower-moving vehicle in an unsafe manner – may grant you a temporary respite from whatever’s bothering you, but in the end it’s simply too much of a risk – both to yourself and to others. It’s bad enough when you’re just sitting at a red light and someone shunts you from behind, but it’s quite another thing to end up being the cause of an accident that leads to injury because you were traveling too closely to someone in front of you out of frustration with him or her.

force the issue

Finally, if you’re finding it hard to keep calm, cool, and collected behind the wheel, consider adding a financial incentive into the mix. Many insurers offer a telematics-based cover option now, which involves fitting your car with a satnav-like device that records your behaviour behind the wheel – and then transmits whether you’ve been good or bad back to your insurance provider, who decides if you’re worthy of an insurance rate cut or not.

Meanwhile, telematics-based policies will also raise your rates for repeated instances of aggressive driving. This means that you’re going to end up paying more for being a miserable, angry person behind the wheel, which could encourage you to play nice with others out of naked financial motivation.

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