Preventing a Single Vehicle Accident
A single-vehicle accident is any driving mishap where only one vehicle is involved. This can include veering off the road and hitting a tree, a rollover crash, or damage caused by animals or debris on the road. Bad weather, poor visibility and distracted driving can all be contributing factors, so drivers must be alert when they take the wheel. Advances in technology can be both a positive and a negative when we discuss distracted driving.
PREVENTING A SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Prepare for your trip before you turn the key.
Many things can slow you down en route to your destination, so it pays to spend some thoughtful preparation time to help ensure safe travels.
Check the weather report.
If you cross county or state lines, you may experience changes in weather patterns. Be prepared to handle rain, snow or other conditions that may affect your ability to drive.
Start safely. Get familiar with the vehicle controls and adjust any settings, as needed.
These include seat position, mirrors and steering wheel. Also, always keep your seat belt fastened while driving.
Allow more time to travel.
This will reduce your urge to speed up if you are slowed by unpredictable circumstances.
Turn your headlights on.
Not only does it enhance your vision, but it also helps others to see you.
Stay focused to help avoid distractions.
Distracted driving can rob your ability to react quickly. Stay focused on the road, including what you can see in front of you and in your mirrors.
Prepare for anticipated distractions.
Like money for a toll booth, mealtimes, or the need to reach for sunglasses. Refrain from eating, drinking and smoking while driving whenever possible.
Monitor your surroundings.
As you drive, be mindful of lane changes, traffic signs and signals, curves, road work and pedestrians. Seeing a situation develop early will give you more time to react, if necessary.
Turn off your cell phone.
Operating a CMV with a NON-Hands-free cell phone is a federal violation. Even a phone that is driver communication on sitting on the passenger seat can be a distraction as it emits sounds and vibrations distracting the driver’s attention. Approximately five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
Take a break.
If you are feeling drowsy or have a task that cannot wait, pull the vehicle over to a safe spot out of the way of traffic.
Monitor conditions to reduce the risk of losing control.
A safe driver monitors road conditions constantly and is ready to adjust. Knowing how to handle your vehicle in a variety of situations helps reduce the risk that you will be involved in an accident.
Note how road materials affect traction.
Asphalt can be more slippery than concrete or gravel due to its petroleum content, especially when covered with rain or snow.
Be especially careful on sharp curves and steep inclines.
These conditions make vehicle handling more difficult. Also, be wary of the dangers caused by soft shoulders and potholes.
Driving at speeds above the posted limits makes it easier to lose control of your vehicle, harder to recover and robs you of critical reaction time.
Beware of standing water and wet leaves.
Maintaining moderate speeds is especially important in these conditions, as it helps to avoid braking fast and skidding.
And….Get plenty of Sleep.
Drowsy driving accounts for about 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Drowsy driving contributes to an estimated 9.5% of all crashes, according to AAA.