Before we know it, the new year will be here and everyone will be busy working on their New Year’s Resolutions. For most people, this usually includes things like losing weight, exercising more, being in the moment, spending more time with loved ones, and practicing gratitude. All of these are very admirable goals to be sure, but maybe we could also include something that pertains to driving. Perhaps a resolution about being a more conscientious and courteous driver in the coming year would make things a bit safer and a bit more pleasant on Oklahoma roadways?
Why, though? New Year’s Resolutions are tough enough to manage when you have the best of intentions. Why would you add something silly like being a better driver? You’ve done alright for yourself so far. Well, the simple answer is that more and more accidents are occurring every year in Oklahoma. To be completely fair, the number of fatalities from accidents and catastrophic injuries from accidents has seen a decline in recent years, but the overall number of accidents, motorcycle accidents, and minor injury accidents has gone up. You might not like the idea but if you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, use your cell phone while driving, speed, or fail to heed roadway signs then you are a part of the problem.
Safe Driving Habits
If you are interested in doing your part to help keep Oklahoma roadways safe for everybody, then there are some simple steps that you can take that will help you do just that.
- Use seat belts and appropriate child safety seats – Granted, the use of seatbelts, child restraints, and child safety seats will not at all reduce your risk of being in a car accident, it can reduce your risk and risk of those riding in your car of suffering from serious injuries should an accident occur. Data collected from the Centers for Disease Control consistently shows what everyone should already know; that seatbelts save lives. Make sure all of your passengers are buckled up every single time you get in the car.
- Pay Attention to What is Around You – Often, accidents happen because the driver of a motor vehicle failed to pay attention to the road and surrounding areas. As a driver, you have what is known as a “duty of care” to remain alert to your surroundings and vigilant towards the traffic around you. Double check your blind spots before changing lanes. Come to a full stop at a crosswalk and look right/left/right before proceeding through or making a right-hand turn. Be aware of oncoming left-turning traffic that has the right of way over you, and slow down when driving around cyclists, motorcycle riders, or pedestrians.
- Put Your Cell Phone Out of Reach (and Leave it There) – With today’s super fast-paced lifestyles, I realize that the idea of being completely out of touch for the
30 minuteduration of your drive is nearly unthinkable. After all, you might miss… something. Practically everyone, from the elderly to small children owns a cell phone. These devices are what we use to make calls, send texts, send emails, play Candy Crush, update our Pinterest boards, and order fuzzy monster slippers from Amazon Prime. All necessary activities to be sure. However, while it is understood that cell phones are an important communication tool in 2019, cell phones should never be used by the driver of a car while the car is moving. If you have trouble fighting the urge to check the text alert you just heard, turn your phone off and put it in a location you cannot reach as soon as you get into your car before you begin driving.
Following these simple tips, combined with some common sense, can go a long way towards keeping you, your family, and other motorists with whom you share the road safe in the upcoming year. If you are involved in a car accident you need to contact a personal injury attorney immediately to go over your legal options. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma for which they were not liable, then the McGuire Law Firm is here to help you. Our personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages that you are entitled to under the law. If you would like a free consultation with one of our reputable personal injury attorneys regarding your car accident case, then please give us a call at (405) 513-5658 and speak with someone in our Oklahoma office today.