From lane departure warnings to automatic emergency braking, drivers today have more technology than ever to help avoid car accidents. You might expect safer roads as a result, but the number of traffic fatalities has risen, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Taking a scientific approach to what causes car accidents can help us better understand – and potentially avoid – them in the future.
Why Are There More Fatal Car Accidents?
Likely factors behind the rise in deadly car crashes include an increase in distractions, and more vehicle miles traveled due in part to lower gas prices and the economic recovery.1 “Americans are covering more miles, and are more distracted, than they were a decade ago,” explains Chris Hayes, a Travelers Risk Control safety professional. “Safety technology can only do so much to offset risky driving behavior.” Reducing distractions, from smartphone use to eating while driving, can help drivers remain alert and able to react quickly, giving them a better chance to avoid an accident.
What Role Do Drivers Play in an Accident?
Despite all of the new safety technology, in 94 percent of car accidents, the crash was related to the driver, according to NHTSA.2 Often, an unexpected event and period of inattention go hand in hand. Maintaining focus on the roadway is important because unexpected events are a part of everyday driving. Even at their most efficient, the interactions between a driver’s perception and a vehicle’s brakes isn’t instantaneous. Responding to an unexpected event happens in three distinct phases: perception, reaction and avoidance. There’s the moment that the driver perceives (or doesn’t) the potential hazard, the driver’s reaction time (or failure to react) and the steps the driver takes (or doesn’t) to avoid an accident.
Hitting a pothole with your car can cause a great deal of damage to your car, particularly to the tires, rims, suspension and chassis. Because of this, it’s imperative that you take the proper precautions to keep your car out of harm’s way. Obviously, your best course of action is to avoid hitting any potholes; however, that’s not always possible. Keep these seven tips in mind to help minimize vehicle damage:
1. Slow down
The faster you’re driving when you hit a pothole, the worse the damage is likely to be
2. Give some space
Should the car in front of you fail to avoid a pothole, you’ll give yourself the time to react and avoid the same fate if you leave a good deal of space between you and the other driver
3. Prepare for puddles
When you see a puddle in the middle of the road, it’s impossible to know how deep that crater will be, so be very cautious
4. Hold tight
Potholes can cause a violent jolt to your car, so it’s very important that you have a solid grip on the steering wheel. Otherwise, your car can veer into the next lane or you can lose control entirely
5. Don’t brake
You’ll want to avoid braking as you hit the pothole because doing so can actually cause more damage
6. Keep your tires full
Properly inflated tires will give your car added protection from potholes
7. Inspect new tires
Inspect the tire by looking at the DOT number, a four-digit number that stands for the week and year the tire was made.
About Stevens Creek Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep Dealer San Jose | Auto Sales and Car Repair
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