Top tips for avoiding auto accidents

Are you driving as safely as you should?

Spring is on the horizon, and with it comes the possibility of foggier mornings and rainier days. This transition from winter to summer weather means you need to be prepared for what might happen every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Check for hazards before driving long distances. Make sure your lights and blinkers are in working order. Double check that your tires are fully inflated and that the tread is deeper than 1/8 of an inch. Also, adjust your mirrors and seat so that you are in the most driver-ready position possible. Oh, and always, always wear a seatbelt.

Drive and brake slowly in bad weather. This will give your vehicle better tire traction, which will allow you to better control your movements. When braking, ease into and out of the motion without making any sudden moves.

Do not drink and drive. It sounds like a broken record, but cannot be overstated enough. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities account for a whopping 31 percent of total motor vehicle deaths. If you plan on going out and consuming alcohol, make sure that you have a designated driver present to get you home safely. Taking matters into your own hands while under the influence of any substance will not only put you at risk, but it will also endanger the lives of innocents, as well.

Do not text and drive. Distracted driving is not quite as historically dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, but the yearly statistics are only going up. In fact, one out of every four car accidents is caused by texting and driving, and a stunning 11 teens die every single day as a result of this horrible habit. Whenever you're behind the wheel and can feel or hear your phone going off, just remember that whatever it is can wait until you arrive at your destination.

Do not drive while drowsy. Almost every licensed driver has been guilty of this at some point or another, but the fact remains the same: drowsy driving is almost as bad as texting or impaired driving. In 2014, at least 846 people died in crashes reported to have involved drowsy drivers. If you find yourself too groggy to function on your daily commute to work, try to make a habit of going to sleep a little bit earlier at night. If you stay out too late and feel like there's even a chance you won't stay lucid on your way home, spend the night at a friend's.

Know that you might be entitled to compensation. If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault - whether as a pedestrian, another driver or passenger - you might be entitled to financial help. This help will not only assist in paying for medical expenses but can also ensure a better quality of life if your standard way of living has been affected by the collision. A personal injury attorney, such as Foley & Small, can help you get the most money possible by working with you and your family throughout the entire process.

No one is ever prepared to be in a car accident, but you can put yourself in the best possible position when tragedy strikes by both taking the necessary precautions before driving and understanding how you can be financially compensated if involved in an accident.

For more information on what you can do to avoid and best handle auto accidents, contact Foley and Small, or visit