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According to USA Today, there are about 43,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. annually. While the statistics indicate only 1% of actual deadly crashes, police vehicle-reported accidents are in the millions. USA Today reports that in 2021 alone, there were nearly 6,102,936 cases. Even so, did you know there are proven tips to avoid such accidents while driving? If you value road safety, keep reading to learn more about road safety and insightful information.

Ignoring Maintenance

Ignoring maintenance is fatal and dangerous. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 2% of all vehicle crashes result from degradation or component failure. Your only chance to ensure that your vehicle is in good condition is to honor your vehicle maintenance schedule for your protection and other road users while driving. Ignoring recommended maintenance puts you at a higher risk of causing property or bodily harm to others, so if you don’t want to hear from a local injury attorney and avoid unnecessary legal penalties and fines, never skip a maintenance schedule.

Avoiding maintenance puts you at risk of driving with bad brakes, a major cause of rear-end collisions. When your vehicle cannot stop quickly, it will crash into the car ahead. In fact, according to IOPScience, accidents due to the misfits of a braking system are between 30% – 40% of all accidents.

That’s huge. Typically, faulty brake lines can leak, allowing your brake fluids to escape and compromising their performance. Also, you might lose control due to the locking up of your wheels due to your Antilock Brake System (ABS) malfunctioning, so don’t skip maintenance for your safety!

Distracted Driving

Did you know that in the same way a drunk driver would be charged with manslaughter, texting while driving would get you similar penalties? So, avoid distracted driving if you don’t want criminal attorneys thirsting for your blood in the courtroom. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2021 alone, nearly 326,415 people were injured due to distraction-affected crashes!

What’s more, almost 28,994 got injured due to crashes involving cell phone-related activities. For this reason, don’t use your cell phone while driving. It may distract you, leading to a vehicle accident.

Typically, there are three types of distracted driving, namely cognitive, visual, and manual distraction. Cognitive distraction will take your mind off the road, visual distraction will take your eyes off the road, and cognitive distraction will take your hands off the wheel. Either of the three, or combined, may potentially lead to an accident, and sometimes, it may be fatal.

According to Forbes, 3,000 people succumb to distracted driving annually! That’s too many. So, it would be best if you avoided activities that may cause distraction while driving, such as using your phone, eating, or watching videos.

Driving With Low Fuel Levels

You must never drive on low fuel because it will cause overheating on different engine parts of your vehicle. If you don’t want to visit your Yamaha dealership for engine repairs due to engine, fuel pump, or catalytic converter problems, ensure you’re not low on gas while driving. When your engine doesn’t have ample fuel, it will misfire the cylinders. What’s worse, when driving at high speed, your vehicle’s computer will ask for an air-fuel mixture to avoid further damage to the engine. When the fuel pump fails to do so, your car will be at risk of an engine knock, which can lead to long-term engine damage.

Additionally, your engine pump design is to function with a certain amount of fuel, failure to which you may damage it as the fuel works as a lubricant and coolant as it flows. Running on low gas will cause your tank to draw air, not fuel. As a result, the fuel which moves through the mechanism will not be enough to cool your pump. So, to ensure that your fuel pump functions optimally, it must be submerged in gasoline, which typically needs about a quarter of the tank.

Driving Aggressively

Staying calm and avoiding getting angry when stuck in traffic or pulled out in front of the freeway isn’t easy. However, it’s vital to avoid aggressive driving. In most cases, driving while angry will quickly lead to aggressive driving or road rage, which may easily lead you into an accident, and sometimes, it can quickly turn fatal. In fact, according to Gitnux, in 2018 alone, nearly 53% of all fatal vehicle accidents involved aggressive driving. For this reason, you must avoid impatience and strong emotions while driving to prevent physical altercations with other drivers or getting into an accident.

Speeding is also a form of aggressive driving, and according to Bankrate, in 2020 alone, it was responsible for nearly 11,258 fatalities on the roadways. Although you may be a responsible driver on the road, you may experience an aggressive driver while on the highway. In such a case, avoid engaging with them. For instance, don’t respond to name-calling, tailgating, hand gestures, or speeding. Instead, stay calm and report them to the authorities immediately to avoid accidents. Also, when the driver is working for a professional company such as a mover, report them to their company immediately.


Let’s agree. When you know you’ve done something wrong, your first primal human instinct could be to leave the scene. But before fleeing, you must understand that you leave clues and pieces of evidence that will lead a professional investigator to your doorstep. Also, fleeing the scene will lead to criminal charges, your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked, and your insurance policy will be at risk of cancellation. Is fleeing worth the risk when most states require stopping at the accident scene, especially when it is safe?

Primarily, a hit-and-run is getting involved in a car accident with another car, pedestrian, or fixed object, leaving the scene without stopping to render aid or identify yourself. Also, some states include hit-and-run laws to cover collisions with animals and extend them to cover packing lot collisions. Although most states have different criminal penalties involving hit and runs, depending on the circumstances, they are either a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony typically means leaving a scene that causes an injury to a person, pedestrian, or vehicle occupant and may attract up to 50 years imprisonment.

Using Incorrect Fluids in Your Vehicle

Consumer Reports advises that using the wrong fluids in your vehicle may cause overheating, poor lubrication, and possible transmission failure. For this reason, supposing you’re using incorrect fluid, it’s best to ensure you have a tow truck service number on your speed dial, as your vehicle can break down anytime. For instance, using the wrong oil reduces lubrication and shortens your engine oil. So, if the manual advises using synthetic oil, use it.

In matters of battery fluid, some cars have batteries with individual cells that may need replenishing with water to help cover the lead plates. In such a case, only use distilled water with no salts or minerals. Adding tap water to your vehicle’s battery electrolyte liquid creates an environment for building up minerals from water on your battery’s internal lead plates, reducing its power and shortening its service life.

Open Flames at the Gas Pump

Let’s face it. Millions of people handle self-serve pumps daily, filling their vehicles regularly. What you may not know is that static electricity, which is common in dry and cold conditions, can be the culprit that creates a spark when touching the fuel nozzle. Although not common, static electricity can spark and ignite propane or gasoline vapors, causing a flash fire. Although it isn’t sure how many gas pump fires are due to static electricity, what’s certain is that, according to Gitnux, gas fire stations cause 4,500 injuries annually in the U.S.

To avoid gas station fires, always turn off your vehicle’s engine while refueling. Also, it’s prudent to stay near your car. Don’t smoke; use lighters or light matches, as all fuels are highly flammable.

Also, avoid going back into your vehicle while refueling, and if you must, touch something metal, such as your car door, to discharge any static electricity before reaching out to the gas nozzle. It would help to avoid gasoline spills by not overfilling your tank. Typically, the fuel dispenser shuts off automatically when the tank is full.

Leaving Trash in the Vehicle

Leaving your bag of hot wings in your car to devour later while driving is tempting; avoiding such behaviors is wise. In fact, according to the FDA, bacteria typically cause foodborne diseases to double every 20 minutes, even at room temperature. So, it’s best not to leave your food or groceries in a warm vehicle for two hours or an hour when your car’s temperature is over 90 degrees. Cans of soda will also be problematic when left in your vehicle when temperatures are cold or hot. Also, ice cream or candy bars can melt quickly and damage your upholstery.

Littering your vehicle with deodorant, hair spray, or spray paint is hazardous. Such products have visible recommendations on storing temperature. Pressurized cans are susceptible to temperature, and a slight change may cause them to expand, causing the can to crack or explode and possibly harm you. Also, lighters that may seem harmless pack a powerful punch when overheated. When exposed to high heat, the flammable lighter’s liquid is a fire hazard, especially in the summer.

Leaving Pets Unsecured

There’s no debate about it. Leaving a domestic animal loose in your vehicle while driving is dangerous. For instance, your pet may start asking for treats or attention, and taking your eyes even for a split second to feed your pet may lead to an accident. Worse, the possibility of an accident increases when your pet moves around or sits off your lap. For this reason, always ensure your pets are safely secured in the seat while driving.

As a pet lover, you may be tempted to take your furry friend while doing errands. However, it will be best not to leave your dog in your car as it may suffer a heat stroke, and without prompt domestic animal medical care, you may sadly lose your best friend in your vehicle. Cracking windows or packing your car in the shade won’t work either. While you may think doing so will protect your dog from heat, it doesn’t make a difference. Even cooler days aren’t favorable to your pets. Therefore, always take your pets and never lock them in your vehicle.

Smoking in the Vehicle

If you’re an avid smoker, rolling tobacco is all fun and games until you realize that it will significantly reduce your car’s resale value. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, the value of your car decreases by 7.7% when you smoke in it compared to a smoke-free vehicle. That’s a significant loss that denies money into your pockets.

Primarily, smoke permeates your entire vehicle, and the stubborn odor will linger in hard-to-reach areas, such as inside your vehicle’s air conditioning unit. Cigarette burns also taint the interior appeal. For this reason, the smell of cigarettes makes it extremely difficult to sell your vehicle, especially to a non-smoker.

Here is the real danger. Remember the point about distracted driving that can lead to accidents? Smoking can also distract you. Also, smoking while driving is unhealthy for your passengers and is illegal in some states. Also, flammable liquids in your car or around petrol stations require a small cigarette fire to make the whole place go kaboom! So, avoid it if you can.

Without a doubt, cruising on the highway is fun. However, you must observe certain unwritten rules while driving to ensure safety. Essentially, never overlook maintenance, keep your car clean, and avoid distractions. Smoking while driving will not only distract you but pose health problems and a risk of fire. Here is the take-home: always be on the safe side of the law. Otherwise, you risk getting injuries, hefty fines, or even jail terms.

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