Tips for driving safely

Drivers should be aware of the weather, stay focused on the road and prepare the vehicle to increase their safety.

When a West Virginia resident sets out on the road, the driver likely does not expect to get in an automobile accident. However, accidents do happen. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that there were 294 deaths in the 265 fatal crashes that took place over the course of a single year in the state. Anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle needs to focus on safety to avoid crashes, serious injuries and death.

Be aware of the weather

Certain weather conditions can make it harder to drive safely. For example, if there are white-out snow conditions, heavy rains or strong winds, a vehicle operator may have a higher risk of getting in a crash. Before heading out on the road, drivers should consider the weather reports and prepare for the possible conditions. In winter, for instance, a commuter may need to give him or herself an extra half hour of travel time to allow for slower driving speeds.

Keep the focus on the road

Distracted driving is a serious safety risk. Anyone behind the wheel needs to keep his or her total focus on the road. A driver can increase the focus on the road by doing the following:

  • Avoiding the use of cellphones and other electronic devices.
  • Securing luggage to ensure it does not fall while in motion.
  • Ensuring children are seated and buckled at all times.
  • Getting a full night's rest before going on a trip.

While it may be tempting to multitask, this can increase the chances of a crash. Drivers should do everything they can to make sure their only task will be operating the vehicle.

Get the vehicle ready

Part of safe driving is having a vehicle that is ready to make the trip. Drivers should check tire pressure, fill the tank with gas and follow a mechanic-recommended upkeep schedule to make sure their vehicle is always ready to get them from one location to another. Before leaving for work or a road trip, it is important the seat position, climate settings and mirror angles are correct. If a driver has to change the position of a seat while the vehicle is in motion, it could distract him or her from the changing traffic patterns, which could lead to a rear-end collision.

The best intentions are not always enough to keep West Virginia drivers out of car crashes. If an accident does occur, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case no matter the degree of injury that is sustained.