The Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Department of Transportation refer to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 Deadliest Days” on the state’s roads. More people are traveling on the roads during the summer, thereby increasing the odds of auto accidents. UDOT reports that motor vehicle accidents increase by about 35 percent during the summer months, with an average of about 96 auto accident fatalities each summer. Utah drivers can employ some simple techniques to increase their safety on the roads and lessen their chances of being involved in auto accidents.
Rules of the road
It may seem elementary, but one of the best ways to prevent motor vehicle accidents is to follow traffic laws. When people drive at excessive speeds, for example, they are more likely to lose control of their vehicles or not be able to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions quickly enough to stop accidents. When people follow traffic laws governing right-of-way, using turn signals, changing lanes and other driving activities, other drivers know what to expect and are better prepared to modify their own actions accordingly.
Another important part of avoiding auto accidents is for drivers to remain alert. Rather than fixing their gazes on one spot in front of them, drivers should constantly scan the road in front of them to look for potential dangers. A driver should look not only at the road ahead, but to the sides and in rearview and side mirrors to monitor conditions. Drivers should be familiar with their vehicles’ blind spots and turn to check in those spots rather than relying on mirrors alone.
Drivers who are distracted are not giving their full attention to the driving task and can easily miss warning signs of possible emergency situations until it is too late to avoid an accident. People should refrain from cell phone and other hand-held electronic device use while driving, as well as any other activities that can distract them from driving, such as eating, reading, using navigation systems or watching videos.
Keep a safe distance
Many drivers have a tendency to follow traffic too closely. When people do not leave adequate space between their vehicles and the cars in front of them, they cut down the time they have to respond if something unexpected happens ahead. The faster that a vehicle is traveling, the more important it is to keep a safe following distance, since braking distance increases with the speed of a vehicle. A generally accepted rule for measuring a safe following distance is the “Two Second Rule,” which states that two seconds should pass between the time when the end of the car in front of a driver passes a stationary marker on the roadside and the time the front of the driver’s car passes the marker.
Not everyone on Utah’s roads has good driving habits, which is the reason that summer is packed with auto accidents. Even if a driver takes all precautions possible, he or she cannot make everyone else be as careful and can still get into an accident. If you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, speak with a skilled auto accident attorney who can help you recover proper compensation for your losses.