Most fatal collisions happen while driving alone. Here are ways to stay safe and make sure you don’t end up in a serious, or even fatal, wreck.
Did you know 58% of police-reported fatal accidents involve only one vehicle?
To add to that, 40% of fatal accidents are caused by automobile collisions with fixed objects or don’t include a collision at all (example: a rollover).
So even when you’re driving alone, without any distractions, you still have a serious risk of an car wreck.
When you’re driving alone, what can you do to keep yourself safe and minimize your risk?
Here’s what to remember:
Keep Your Car Maintained
Healthy maintenance includes keeping your gas tank full. Fill up when your tank’s half empty rather than almost bone dry.
Have your tires checked and rotated so you always keep good control. Have your fluids checked and filled with every oil change.
When you’re aware of a maintenance issue, have it fixed as soon as possible rather than waiting.
Subscribe to Roadside Assistance
If you have a new car, it probably comes with roadside assistance. If not, purchase a AAA membership.
It’s affordable, reliable, and can help you out when you’re in a pinch.
For example, say you hear odd noises coming from your car. Rather than grin, bear it, and hope for the best, you can get towed to the nearest auto repair shop.
Let Your Internal Alarm Bells Go Off When You Say “It Won’t Happen to Me”
You know about the dangers of driving drunk or high. You hear it a million times each year.
But in 2016, 10,497 people died as a result of a DUI anyway, which accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths, says the CDC.
Knowledge isn’t the problem. Willingness and taking action when you’re aware of the problem is.
The average drunk driver drives drunk 80 times before their first arrest, says FBI data.
The second you find yourself rationalizing, “It’ll be fine,” “I’m not that drunk,” “I’ve done this before and nothing happened,” opt to take a safer action instead.
And realize the next victim of a fatal drunk driving accident could be you.
Apps like Uber make getting home safely easier than ever before.
Keep Your Phone Fully Charged
While your phone can be an accident-causing distraction, it can also be a tremendously helpful safety tool.
Yeah, we’re telling you to have a car charger and keep your phone fully charged. You might also consider one of those battery packs that extend the time you can use your phone.
Waze is a GPS app that goes beyond standard GPS. Waze lets you know about traffic conditions, crashes, disabled vehicles, police, and basically any road hazard you can imagine right before you encounter it. Users submit the information as they travel.
You certainly can’t eliminate all your risk of an automobile wreck, or even a fatal accident. It’s just not possible.
But you can certainly reduce your risk to practically zero so you stay safe.
3 Examples of gross negligence in auto accident cases
Study suggests ridesharing increases traffic fatalities
Just how safe is Dallas-Fort Worth to drive in anyway?
36% of survey takers drove while blackout drunk says 2019 study
Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years (since 1983). Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.