Avoiding Auto Accidents: Pay Attention, Have a “Plan B”
There are two important things you can do to reduce your chances of getting into an auto accident — pay attention and have a “Plan B.”
Accidents happen. There is no way to get around that. Reducing the number and severity of accidents, however, is an attainable goal. Carelessness and inattention are all too often factors in collisions. Just take a look at some of the numbers on distracted driving, which is one of the most serious issues on the roads today.
Let’s take an extreme example. The driver in a recent fatal accident in Colorado Springs faces a wide array of charges, many of which are directly related to alleged carelessness in the driver’s seat. John Ensslin, a writer for The Colorado Springs Gazette, lists them in his recent coverage. The list begins with vehicular homicide and continues along with the following for a stunning 11 charges:
Detra Dione Farries also is charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident, both felonies.
Farries also faces two misdemeanor reckless endangerment counts and the following traffic offenses: reckless driving, two counts of failing to stop for a stop sign, failing to obey a traffic control device, driving an unsafe or defective vehicle and driving an unregistered vehicle.
In this case, the alleged sequence of events involved the victim getting caught in a towcable as Farries drove away. At the time, he was in the process of hooking it up to her vehicle to tow it. An extreme case that certainly illustrates the need for awareness.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is this recent contribution to The Injury Board Blog Network by attorney Mark Bello concerning an accident that could have been far worse had one driver not been observant and prepared:
A 25-year-old woman narrowly escaped serious injuries when she collided with a tractor trailer. She admittedly fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into oncoming traffic. The attentive truck driver may have saved this woman’s life. When he saw her approaching, the trucker changed lanes to get out of the direct path of the woman and avoid a head on collision. Her vehicle struck the passenger-side rear tire of the tractor and traveled down the entire side of the trailer, but he was able to maintain control of the tractor trailer and keep his load intact.
Bello makes some great observations in his post. Prepared and attentive drivers have a much greater chance of reacting quickly to dangerous situations.
Having a “Plan B” helps as well. Think about what your options are if an accident suddenly occurs on the road around you. Can you get around it by going off road onto a shoulder or median? A moment of thought on these topics can allow you to react much faster if the situation presents itself.