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Common Sense Driving Tips

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s question comes from an existing client who said, “last year during the lockdown, some insurance companies were giving rebates on premiums because there were fewer accidents, but premiums are back up; what is going on?”

Indeed, insurance carriers were giving rebates, credits, and the like during the pandemic lockdown.

When people were stuck at home, the roads were empty, people were afraid to travel. Courtrooms were closed, and lawsuits were put on hold. Accidents were pretty much non-existent.

But, have you noticed that since travel restrictions were relaxed, the roads are now busier than ever with people driving their cars, trucks, and motorcycles? I am not sure if everyone has a place to go, but everyone seems to enjoy driving. And, it appears that many drivers need a driving skill brush-up course. Many are not paying attention to their surroundings as they should, resulting in an increase in accidents.

A recent NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) study found that those seriously injured or victims of fatal crashes either were or encountered drivers of cars who had taken risks such as speeding, driving while impaired or not wearing seatbelts. Some had even consumed alcohol or taken cannabinoids and even opioids to help cope with the effects of the pandemic.

It was also reported that drivers who caused auto accidents traveled at speeds 15% higher than before the pandemic began. These excessive speeds have resulted in a spike in accidents involving cyclists. In the US alone, fatalities caused by negligent drivers have increased 30% post-Covid.

To help you and someone you love be a better, more conscientious driver, we offer these common-sense tips:

Tidy Up Your Sloppy Habits – come to a complete stop, signal your intentions at every turn, don’t cut corners when you turn.

Adjust Your Mirrors – all of them. And actually use them. Get a sense of what’s around you. Glance at your mirrors often.

Keep Your Eyes Moving – avoid fixation, check your mirrors every 5 seconds, scan other vehicles. Know your surroundings.

Leave More Space – remember the 4-second rule. Keeping a 4-second space between you and another vehicle allows for better driving. (Most drivers only leave less than 1 second of space which doesn’t allow enough time to overcome obstacles).

Take Time To Understand Your Car’s Safety Features – every car is different, so understanding the limitations of your vehicle will go a long way in saving you or a loved one in an accident. Oh, and by the way…ABS brakes will not shorten the distance if you are too close to another vehicle and need to brake suddenly.

Don’t Text And Drive – put the phone down; answering a text is not worth your life or someone else’s.

Don’t Be Influenced – driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or even over-the-counter medications can lead to impaired driving decisions and death. Just don’t do it.

So why do we share these tips with you?

We share them to hopefully help you prevent a vehicle accident. Being sued for negligent driving is not a pleasant experience. Because our job as personal injury lawyers is to fight for the victim’s rights, and if you’re deemed negligent, we don’t go easy on you. We go after you, go after your insurance, and make sure the victim is fully compensated for your mistakes. So follow the tips and learn to be a safer driver.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”