Changing some behaviors can make our roads safer.
There are many drivers on the road who have bad habits when they're behind the wheel. Many of these habits are fairly common. But they are also dangerous and lead to car accidents every day in Fairfield County and throughout Connecticut.
How common are these habits? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's annual Traffic Safety Culture Index offers some insights. More than half of respondents in a survey admitted to some risky driving behavior.
The best way to address bad driving habits is to never start them in the first place. That's why AAA Driving School instructor Arnie Kinsler puts a special emphasis on teaching students the importance of adopting safe driving habits.
But for people who are already driving, there's good news. They can change their habits, with some simple fixes suggested by AAA.
1. Put the phone down.
Many drivers use their phones behind the wheel. They may be texting, talking, emailing, or using an app. Some even take photos or videos while they're driving. But using a phone in any way takes the driver's attention away from the primary task of driving.
It's a simple fix, notes Barbara Ward, a traffic safety specialist with AAA Northeast. Before driving, put your phone on "Do Not Disturb." Then, put it out of reach.
2. Get a ride.
Impaired driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Use of these substances can interfere with your ability to drive. That's why impaired driving is against the law. But too many people convince themselves they are still able to drive safely after drinking alcohol or using drugs.
The fix is to plan on getting a ride ahead of time. Designated a sober driver. Take a cab. Or use a rideshare service such as Lyft or Uber.
3. Get some rest.
Fatigue and driving may not sound like a dangerous combination. But drowsy driving can be as risky as impaired driving. Excessive tiredness can reduce reaction times, affect judgment, and impact driving skills in other ways.
The fix is to get some rest before driving. If you're taking a long trip with someone, take turns behind the wheel. Or stop to rest every two hours or 100 miles.
4. Slow down.
Speeding is common, and many drivers don't consider it to be that risky. But there are posted speed limits for a reason. When a driver speeds, it's more difficult to control their vehicle. They have less time to react to changing conditions. And they need a greater distance to bring their vehicle to a complete stop.
The fix is to follow the speed limit. You should also adjust your speed to match road, weather, and traffic conditions.
5. Stay calm.
There are drivers who speed up to beat a red light. Drivers who switch lanes without warning. Drivers who tailgate. Drivers who honk the horn if they think you are in their way. These are all examples of aggressive driving. It's a bad habit that can easily lead to accidents.
The fix is to try to stay calm. Follow the speed limit, signal your turns, and obey traffic lights. If another driver starts getting aggressive, don't make eye contact and don't respond with more aggression.
Seeking legal help after a Connecticut crash
If a negligent driver caused a crash that left you injured, you deserve financial compensation. However, proving that a driver was speeding, distracted, or engaged in another dangerous habit that led to your accident can be difficult. That's why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side to help you navigate the process of seeking compensation for your losses.
Vishno Law Firm is here to help. Attorney Jeremy Vishno has been fighting for the injured in Fairfield County, CT for decades. He will work tirelessly to investigate your crash, build a strong case that proves negligence, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Talk to a lawyer who goes above and beyond for his clients. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. Our firm proudly serves clients in Bridgeport, Stamford, Danbury, Shelton, and all of Fairfield County.