When it comes to staying safe on the roads, the old adage holds true: The best offense is a good defense.
Our car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have posted extensively about the three most common dangerous driving behaviors: Distracted driving, aggressive driving and impaired driving.
Southwest Floridians can substantially reduce their accidents risks in 2022 by resolving to not drive distracted or impaired. Never engage in aggressive driving – including speeding, tailgating, failure to yield- and always obeying traffic laws and traffic control devices.
Reducing Road Risk in Southwest Florida
But there are other easy steps each of us can take when it comes to staying safer on the roads.
Yield to vulnerable road users: Walkers, cyclists and motorcycle riders are at highest risk, both because they can be difficult to see, and because even a low-speed collision involves substantial risk of serious or fatal injury. Give these road users the right of way.
Intersection Defense: Pay particular attention at intersections. These natural points of traffic conflict are responsible for an out sized number of crashes. Always yield the right of way at crosswalks. Obey traffic control devices. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted. And pay particular attention when your view is obstructed by traffic or other obstacles.
Parking lots: Like intersections, parking lots are the site of a surprising number of crashes. Drive slowly. Use marked traffic lanes instead of cutting across a lot. Watch for pedestrians and beware of backing motorists.
Weather: Sudden rain storms, fog, and even high wind can pose traffic risks in Southwest Florida. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly.
Night Driving: Many crashes occur after dark. Visibility is reduced and there is a greater likelihood of encountering intoxicated motorists on the road. Plan your driving to avoid night driving whenever possible.
Safety Starts Before You Hit the Road
There are a number of safety considerations that can impact your risks before you even hit the road. As our car accident lawyers recently reported, vehicle safety ratings are an important consideration when choosing a vehicle.
Young drivers and senior motorists are also at higher risk. Talking about road safety with loved ones and assessing driving skills can both reduce crash risks. So, too, can taking a safety course. The National Safety Council is among the organizations offering a defensive-driving course for older drivers.
Lastly, reviewing your insurance policy can make sure you have the financial support necessary in the event of a serious collision. Florida is among the states with the highest rates of uninsured motorists on the road; 1 in 4 drivers do not even carry the minimum $10,000 liability insurance. This minimum level of insurance is also the lowest in the nation, and wholly inadequate in the event of a serious or fatal crash.
That’s why we suggest all motorists carry optional uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. While not required under Florida law, this insurance will protect you in the event you are involved in a crash with a motorist who is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to compensate you for damages.
By making these defensive driving strategies a part of your road offense this year, you will be taking concrete steps to protect you and your family.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.