What if, as you’re approaching a particular stretch of highway, you remember how accident-prone that particular area is? You’ve witnessed or heard of several ghastly crashes, including fatal ones.
This is the case with some areas in Burlington, MA. Massachusetts ranks No. 2 among the ten most accident-prone states, and Burlington, one of its major cities, witness hundreds of accidents yearly. How can you ensure your journey remains safe and enjoyable on these roads since you can’t entirely avoid driving?
Here are some practical tips to help you navigate areas prone to accidents and arrive at your destination unscathed.
1. Observe Speed Limits and Maintain Safe Following Distances
It may sound like an obvious tip, but it’s one that often goes unheeded. Stick to the posted speed limits, especially in accident-prone areas. Speeding not only reduces your reaction time but also increases the severity of accidents.
Speaking of reaction times, always ensure you’re following the vehicle ahead of you in a safe distance. Too close to the vehicle, and you won’t have enough reaction time when that driver slams the brakes suddenly. The three-second rule is a good benchmark: choose a fixed point on the road, and when the vehicle in front of you passes it, start counting. You should reach that point after three seconds. This provides you with adequate reaction time in case of sudden stops.
2. Drive Defensively Against Larger Vehicles
Defensive driving means being aware of your surroundings and anticipating the actions of other drivers and the way vehicles move, especially long trucks. Over 100 truck accidents occur in Burlington, MA, yearly, several of which are fatal. And some are preventable if only drivers could drive defensively when close to these trucks.
For example, it’s worth noting that a truck, when turning to another lane, will need a wider space since its rear would need to move to the opposite side and take up space. This rear can crash into another vehicle that was parked on that side of the road or driving on the outer side of the truck. These kinds of accidents are common with trucks in Burlington.
However, some truck accidents may actually result from the truck driver’s negligence. Whether you believe the accident to be the other driver’s fault or not, it’s recommended to seek legal help from a Truck Accident Lawyer in Burlington, MA, since these accident cases can be far-reaching, destroying the vehicle and causing severe and life-threatening injuries.
Your lawyer will be able to assist you in taking legal action against the negligent driver and possibly obtain compensation for your unjust injuries. Even if it’s just to deal with your insurance company, your lawyer will help ensure you get the maximum compensation and that you do not get cheated with a low settlement.
That said, always keep a watchful eye on the road and be ready to react to unexpected and dangerous situations. Defensive driving can help you avoid accidents caused by the negligence of others.
3. Minimize Distractions
It’s easier than ever before to get distracted by your smartphone, GPS, or even the scenery. However, distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Stay focused on the road and keep distractions to a minimum. The phone can wait. You can apologize for the missed call later.
But a lost limb due to an accident cannot be regained. If you need to use your phone or GPS, pull over to a safe location first. The truth is, you can make calls on the road so many times, and nothing bad happens, and you get used to it. But who knows when one will run out of luck? It is better to not allow calling/texting while driving to become a habit.
4. Stay Cautious in Poor Weather
Accident-prone areas are often more dangerous in adverse weather conditions. If it’s raining, foggy, or snowing, slow down and adjust your driving to match the weather. Ensure your headlights and taillights are on, and be cautious on slippery roads.
5. Buckle Up Every Time
Seat belts save lives. Make it a habit to buckle up every time you get in the car, and ensure that all passengers do the same. It’s a simple step that significantly reduces the risk of injury in an accident.
6. Avoid Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and road rage, are more likely to lead to accidents. Keep your cool on the road, and remember that arriving a few minutes later is better than risking an accident. Furthermore, always respect the road signs and signals when driving in an accident-prone area.
7. Use Caution at Intersections
Intersections are common accident hotspots. When approaching an intersection, reduce your speed and be especially cautious. Look both ways and ensure that cross traffic has come to a stop before proceeding.
If you encounter heavy traffic or an accident-prone area, and you have the flexibility to change your route, consider seeking alternate roads or highways. Sometimes, a slight detour can save you a lot of time and stress.