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Orange, California 92867

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5 Tips for Avoiding a Car Collision

We’d love to entitle this article “How to Prevent a Car Accident,” but the nature of accidents prevents us from ever being 100% prepared for one. After all, if you could anticipate an accident it wouldn’t be an accident, would it? (Though if you can anticipate an accident, you might want to get yourself a job as a psychic investigator. Insurance companies will adore you.)

Unfortunately, no matter how prepared you are, all it takes is one mistake on your part or another driver’s to ruin your day and your car. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in 2009. 33,808 crashes ended in fatalities, with almost 10% of those deaths occurring in California. At Precision Collision, our business is based on fixing up your car after it’s been smashed, but we hate seeing wrecks just as much as you do. That’s why we’ve outlined a few key tips below for avoiding car collisions and keeping yourself and your passengers safe.
  • Seatbelt - It seems like a no-brainer, but your seatbelt is the most important safety element in your vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 53% of collision fatalities occurred to drivers or passengers that were not wearing their seatbelts (Source). There really isn’t a better argument to buckle up than that.
  • Check Your Car Before You Drive - Do you inspect your tires before every drive you take? How about check for leakage, weird smells or listen for strange noises under the hood when you turn it on? Do we really expect you to run a full diagnostic before every trip to the grocery store? No. But making it a habit to check your car whenever you do have the time is important - not just for your safety but for maintaining the overall health of your vehicle. Something you never noticed before may lead to steering or engine problems in the future if not fixed right now.
  • Know Your Roads - This isn’t a call to memorize every street to and from your house but something a little more practical. Say it’s late, after midnight, on a Friday or Saturday night. You know what’s up. People are leaving the clubs, leaving bars, and - especially here in California - making full use of the light traffic on our many freeways. If you see someone driving erratically or know local areas that get swamped with people calling it a night, avoid those lanes and those areas. On that note...
  • Drive Defensively - You may be a fantastic driver, but the goon driving right alongside you may be distracted, texting or singing Katy Perry. Don’t expect him to check his blind spots. Be like an international spy when you get behind the wheel: Trust no one. Yes, it sounds paranoid, and don’t drive so defensively that you end up putting yourself into even more harm’s way trying to avoid the swarm of terrible drivers out there, but the less you assume about other cars the more alert you will be.
  • Look Both Ways Before Crossing the Street - Another obvious one, right? Over 2,000 fatalities from crashes in 2009 occurred in intersections, over 600 of which involved a driver running a red light (NHTSA). Over 2 million vehicles were involved in non-fatal crashes in intersections, 89,000 of which involved red light runners. So with this new info, it’s in your best interest to watch for objects in your periphery and obey those traffic signals. At best it can save your life. It can also save you major maintenance on your car and keep you and another driver from having a very disgruntled conversation.
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