Circumstances Beyond Our Control
The previous blog looked at five common driver behaviors that can lead to car crashes. We can fix our risky behaviors, but there are still things beyond our control that may result in a car accident—even for the most conscientious drivers. Here are four of them.
- Inclement Weather
Do you know the motto attributed to US postal workers? “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Well, this is not actually their motto. It was written about another set of postal workers from around 500 BCE. The postal service does cancel mail delivery due to weather, and sometimes we should take a cue from them. Inclement weather can make for unsafe driving conditions, and rather than risking sliding around on snow, rain, ice, and sleet, being pelted by hail, being blown around in the wind, or getting submerged in pools of water, it may be wiser to stay off the roads. If travel during bad weather can’t be avoided, it’s important to be up on the precautions to take when driving conditions are less than ideal.
- Road Conditions
Road conditions can be hazardous even on a bright, sunny day. Road construction, sharp curves, and potholes can make driving risky. There’s a reason why posted speeds are lower in construction zones and around curves. Workers on the street, debris, unexpected obstacles, and confusing signs can make driving safely difficult. And curves can be deceptively treacherous. After traveling at a consistent speed, it can be hard to slow down for a curve. We often mistakenly think we can make it, but acknowledging posted speeds and slowing down in construction zones and around curves may just save lives.
Hitting a pothole isn’t just a nuisance. A pothole can make you lose control of your car or cause a tire blowout that impacts your ability to steer. Hitting a pothole may itself be considered an accident, as the impact can be similar to that of a 35-mph car accident. Be particularly careful on roads in need of maintenance. Slow down and be observant to drive around potholes or take them at a safe speed.
- Design Defects
Despite the fact that cars increasingly have more and better safety features, no product is made perfectly—and that includes cars. They have hundreds of parts, and if any of them are defective, they can cause a serious accident. Faulty brakes and flaws in the steering mechanism are obvious concerns. But even defects in the suspension can be a factor in an accident. Poor suspension can result in uneven wear on tires and lead to tire blow-outs that can make the car difficult to handle. To lessen the chance of an accident due to car issues, stay up on the latest car recalls, and keep your car well-maintained.
- Other Drivers
From inexperienced teenagers to angry, intoxicated, or distracted drivers, the biggest enemy to our safety on the road may be other drivers. According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Association, crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths. Teens tend to be more easily distracted and unsure of how to handle emergency situations quickly and wisely. They also are more likely to drink and drive. Road-ragers are a particular threat because anger can hinder their ability to think clearly. They are more likely to speed and tailgate. To protect yourself, always drive defensively and expect the unexpected. If it seems another driver is intoxicated, distracted, or angry, consider getting off the road or taking an alternate route to avoid trouble.
Here at Accident and Injury Chiropractic, we will continue to keep you informed on ways to be safer on the road. But remember, if you are ever in a car accident, we’re here to help you. Come to the nearest Accident and Injury Chiropractic location where we will give you quality, compassionate care and have you feeling better as soon as possible.