Auto manufacturers are introducing new safety and driver assistance technologies. Despite safety technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Pedestrian Emergency Braking, accidents happen. And Utah happens to be one of the top accident-prone states. The Utah Highway Safety Office has reported 23,902 crashes in 2022, which resulted in 6,720 injuries and 124 fatalities.
When a car accent happens, you will be looking at more than just car repairs. You or your loved ones could sustain severe injuries or worse. Safe driving can go a long way in preventing a deadly car accident in Utah.
7 Tips to Stay Safe from Car Accidents in Utah
Here are seven common tips to help you stay safe on the road.
1. Never Cross the Speed Limit
Speeding probably is the number one cause behind deadly car crashes all over the country. In 2020, speeding killed 11,258 people. It resulted in 29% of all traffic fatalities in the same year.
Speeding is especially dangerous because the consequences are often far-reaching. The potential of losing vehicle control is very high when cruising at high speed. Increased stopping distance also means the crash can cause devastating injuries, even death.
Running late is one of the most common reasons for aggressive driving. You should avoid driving over the speed limit, no matter how late you may be. If you see a speeding driver passing by, give them plenty of room. Speeding drivers can lose control of their cars quickly.
2. Keep Your Attention on the Road
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents in Utah and the rest of the country. According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020. On top of that, it caused thousands of injuries on the road.
Distracted driving involves any activity that takes your attention off the road. This usually involves talking on cellphones, texting, talking to passengers, changing music, eating or drinking coffee, or anything else that distracts you from driving.
As you can see, all these distractions are easily avoidable. You can limit the activity inside your vehicle, which will prevent most car accidents in Utah. Keep cell phone use and in-person interactions for emergencies only. If you want to talk or use your cellphone, it’s best to pull over safely first.
3. Don’t Drink and Drive
Drunk driving causes accidents as it slows down your brain’s response time. As a result, a drunk driver often makes mistakes otherwise easily avoidable. They include driving over speed limits, jumping stop signs and red signals, or failing to see pedestrians or road hazards.
Drunk driving claimed plenty of lives in car and truck accidents in Utah. It is possible to prevent these accidents if you have a designated driver. Plus, the government is also making strict laws. In 2019, Utah became the first and only state to make it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05% or higher.
And the new law seems to be paying off. Since this law came into effect, crashes declined 19.8%, and fatalities dipped by 18.3%. However, if you still get into an accident caused by a drunk driver, you can file a personal injury claim. Talk to an experienced auto accident attorney in Utah as soon as possible.
4. Always Wear Your Seat Belt
This simple safety measure can help prevent deadly accidents in Utah. Of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020, 51% did not wear seat belts resulting in deaths. Buckling up is necessary because airbags alone are not enough to protect you when driving. In fact, airbags can often cause injuries without a seat belt.
The seat belt also protects you from ejecting from the vehicle, especially during high-speed crashes. Being thrown out of the windshield or your car is almost always deadly. This also puts your children at high risk. In other words, you need to buckle up as soon as you get in your car.
5. Beware of the Weather Conditions
The weather may not always be on your side. Driving in bad weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornados, flooding, and electrical storms is often dangerous. It is also more stressful and adversely affects your safety on the road. As far as possible, postpone the trip and stay home rather than drive.
If you must drive in such conditions, drive more slowly than usual in bad weather. Make sure your windshield wipers are in excellent working condition, check the tire pressure, and clean your headlights and taillights before heading out. Also, clear your windshield and mirrors before leaving.
6. Avoid Driving When Tired
Over the years, drowsy driving has become as much of a concern on the road as drunk driving. Drowsy driving frequently causes deadly accidents in Utah. If you are feeling tired, never fight it. Instead, find a safe place, pull over, and take a power nap before getting back on the road again.
If you are planning to drive throughout the night, get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. Usually, seven to nine hours of sleep is enough. During a long drive, make sure to take short breaks every couple of hours to relax and refocus. Avoid alcohol and medication that induces drowsiness.
7. Check Your Tires Regularly
Another safety tip is to check your tires, particularly tire pressure. Blowing a tire can cause catastrophic accidents in Utah and everywhere else. So, check the tire pressure every two to four weeks to stay safe on the road. Also, check it before heading out for a long drive.
While at it, check your tires for any wear and tear. The penny test is a pretty simple way to check if your tread has worn out. Usually, if the tire is worn down below 1/16th of an inch, you should replace it immediately. A worn-out tire offers little or no grip, which can cause your vehicle to slip or flip.
Despite sophisticated safety features, accidents continue to injure people and claim lives. The best way to stay safe on the road is to practice safe driving. Even the simplest steps, such as wearing your seat belt and checking tire pressure, can help you avoid devastating car crashes. Hopefully, these safety tips will nudge you in the right direction when planning your next road trip.
If you or your loved ones get injured in a car accident, we can help. As a leading car accident attorney in Utah, we have helped many victims recover damages. For more information, please schedule a consultation with us today.