Even if you’ve been driving on Kansas City’s roads for many years, you may occasionally forget what you learned when you first started. It never hurts to have a refresher of the rules of modern driving in KC. Safe driving is everyone’s responsibility.
Make Car Maintenance A Priority
If you’ve ever had a flat tire or other breakdown, you know how annoying it is. True, you can’t predict or prevent that nail or other sharp object, but you can make sure your car is in good working condition whenever you turn the ignition.
A car isn’t an investment, it’s a depreciating asset. Being a responsible car owner takes more than a trip through a car wash. To keep it in optimal working condition, regularly inspect:
• Your car’s water levels (every two weeks)
• Your car’s other fluids:
o Engine oil
o Brake fluid
o Power steering fluid
o Radiator coolant
o Transmission fluid
o Windshield wiper fluid
o Other fluids as instructed by your car’s owner’s manual
• Tire pressure, and insure that they are properly inflated, especially after a cold front
• Your battery, and know the expiration date
• The power windows, dashboard lights, and side and rear windows are in working order
Also keep your car’s fuel tank at least one-quarter full. Never run your vehicle down to near-empty levels and let the indicator light come on. You can become stranded, and any dirt or debris in the fuel tank can work its way into your engine, causing problems.
Focus When You Drive
Drivers have a multitude of distractions at their fingertips. The most obvious is the smartphone that carries hundreds of functions in one small package. Unfortunately, multitasking is a myth, and driving while talking, texting, or checking email is a recipe for an accident.
Giving 100% of your attention to your driving is one of the best ways to prevent an accident. Put away the electronic devices, slow down enough to give yourself more reaction time, and pay attention to the road ahead.
Change lanes cautiously, and make sure to use your signals. Cutting off other cars and quick lane changes can irritate other drivers and potentially lead to road rage.
If you’re with children, they should be buckled into their seatbelts. Don’t let them climb around or fight in the car, causing you to become distracted.
Wear Your Seatbelt
It’s an often repeated adage, but wearing your seatbelt really does increase your chances of surviving an accident. In a lower-speed fender bender, you’ll be prevented from bouncing around in your seat and experiencing injuries such as whiplash.
But even after years of public service announcements, many people still don’t buckle their seatbelts. Unbuckled back seat passengers can either be thrown into the driver or through the windshield in a high-speed crash. Cars and trucks still have the potential to be deadly, even with modern safety equipment like air bags.
“Road rage” incidents are far more common today than before, especially during the pandemic. So, it’s important to keep a cool head while driving.
If you find yourself in a road rage incident, avoid engaging with or responding to the other driver. Call the police, if necessary, but you must also keep yourself and your passengers safe from harm. If you find yourself in a road rage situation:
• Lock your doors
• Don’t react to someone driving aggressively
• Avoid eye contact with the other driver
• Get out of the way and let the other driver pass
• Do not go straight home, as the other driver may follow
• Find a safe place to stop, such as a police station or other crowded place, using your horn if the other driver approaches your car; don’t get out to speak with them
• Use your cell phone to get as much information as you can, including the car, license plate, pictures or video, or any other information about the aggressive driver
Avoid escalating the conflict by declining to engage with the other driver—don’t yell back, don’t gesture, or try to anger them further.
Kansas City Car Accident Attorney
We hope that you are never in an accident. Unfortunately, we know they happen. Even if you abide by the rules of the road, other drivers don’t. If you need help after a car accident, we’re ready to help.
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in many accident types, from simple fender benders to accidents involving injuries and property damage. We'll be happy to review your case and let you know if you have one and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288, or use our online contact form to get started.