The pandemic meant more people stayed home and were not on the road. Fewer cars and less traffic meant fewer accidents. However, now everyone is returning to work and school, and more cars are on the road than ever before. Quarantine has driven everyone a little stir-crazy; therefore, more residents and tourists are on North Dakota roads.
Statistics show that there were more car accidents in 2021 than in 2020, considering things were beginning to open up, and those numbers correlate. While the numbers for 2022 are not out yet, it is expected to be even greater than the previous two years and exponentially more than 2019. So how do you stay safe with more cars on the road?
Staying safe on the roads of Minot
You know to look both ways before you cross an intersection, but many drivers do not know there are other ways to stay safe on the road besides following all road rules and regulations. Here are 10 tips for staying safe on the road.
- Check your shocks, brakes, and tires: While they seem like minor parts of a vehicle, they are essential to your car’s health. Even feeling a tiny difference when braking means you need to get them checked out. Tires are vital; you need to check the grip, depth, and air pressure.
- Carry emergency items: Drivers never know when they might need emergency items, and the Winter Survival kit will have almost everything you need. We also recommend you add an IPOW Emergency Hammer and Belt Cutter (or similar product). In the event you get stuck in the car – especially if the car rolls over – you can cut yourself free from the seat belt and break a window to get out.
- The signals on your dash have meanings: 64 different symbols can appear on your dashboard, and most are not good. You do not need to know all of them, but when one does appear, check your vehicle manual to see what it means.
- Your car has a distinct smell: This safety tip seems odd, but if your car smells weird, that means something is wrong. You may have a faulty converter if your car smells like rotten eggs. Familiarize yourself with how your vehicle smells to know when something is wrong.
- Stay alert: Not driving while distracted is the key to staying safe on the road. You will need to make a split-second decision; if you do not have your eyes on the road, that is impossible. Look for road signs, take rest breaks when on a road trip, and pull over when you need to check your phone.
- Drive safely at night: While your car has features that make nighttime driving safer, you still deal with slower reaction times and lower depth perception. When driving at night, ensure you have working headlights and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. There are also the dangers of drunk drivers who can drive erratically.
- Stay aware of your surroundings: Always keep a buffer between you and other vehicles and pay attention to everything around you, not just your cars. Look at your blind spots, do not react to road rage incidents, and adjust your speed to respond to conditions.
- Do not drive with damaged windows: When you have a crack or damage to your windshield, it affects your visibility, and you must get it repaired immediately. While it is an unexpected expense, not fixing the window can leave you unable to see and avoid a hazard.
- Do not rely on your safety features: New technology provides exceptional safety features, but that does not mean you should rely solely on them. Safety features are an additional method to keep you safe but not the primary. They are meant to enhance your basic driving skills.
- Know what to do during a breakdown: No one wants to break down, but it happens. You need to have your emergency safety kit ready, and when a breakdown happens, you must turn on your hazard lights and pull over. Call for help and if you have safety triangles, place them behind and in front of your vehicle to warn other drivers.
Vehicle maintenance is a top priority, and so are your driving skills. The best way to stay safe with the increase in traffic is to refresh your basic driving safety skills. Stay aware of the road and other vehicles, and always be prepared to make quick decisions. Prepare for emergencies and ensure you have a plan if something happens on the road.
Can I make a claim for compensation after a Minot car accident?
Car accidents are rising with more vehicles on the road, and you can do your part to stay safe. But if you are in a car accident with a negligent driver, you need to take the proper steps to recover compensation for your losses by contacting a Minot car accident lawyer. In 2021, there were 101 fatal accidents here in North Dakota, with much more expected this year and moving forward. Those who are in car accidents can suffer other injuries like:
- Loss of vision
- Spinal cord trauma
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back herniations
You should not be left suffering from these injuries while the at-fault driver gets away. Instead, contact an experienced car accident lawyer from Larson Law Firm PC.
After an accident in Minot, Fargo, or Bismarck, you need proper legal representation to recover the compensation necessary to reimburse you for your injuries and damages. Even if the driver is uninsured, you still have options to recover through an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. Larson Law Firm PC is aware of your rights, and we will fight diligently to ensure you get justice for your losses.
Do not fret about the increase in traffic, as this means people are back to their routines. Adjust your driving habits and stay alert to ensure you stay as safe as possible. Call our Minot, Bismarck, or Fargo office at 701-484-HURT, or complete our contact form for a free consultation when you suffer an injury.
Mark Larson is a Certified Civil Trial Specialist and Certified Civil Pre-Trial Specialist focusing on personal injury, motor vehicle, wrongful death, and oil field claims. Since 1979, Larson Law Firm has served the injured throughout North Dakota. Read more about Mark V. Larson