Staying safe should be your number one priority when you drive, and you'll want to do everything possible to avoid a car accident. Certain precautions can be taken before and while you drive to reduce your chances of getting into a crash. Here are 10 ways to avoid car accidents.

1. Put Down the Phone

One of the simplest ways to avoid an auto accident is to refrain from checking text messages or holding your mobile phone up to your ear when you drive. Bluetooth technology and similar devices have been developed to provide a hands-free option so that you'll be able to communicate without having to hold a phone while driving.

2. Fix All Window and Windshield Damage

Cracks, dings, and other damage to your windshield or vehicle windows can interfere with your vision and make seeing the road more difficult. Even minor damage should be repaired quickly so that it doesn’t grow into a bigger problem. You can take your vehicle to an auto shop for repairs, or you can try ordering a glass repair kit and doing the work yourself if the damage to your windshield or a window is minor.

3. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

Your windshield wiper blades may need to be replaced so that your wipers can give you a clearer vision when driving in the rain or snow. Wiper blades that are no longer up to standard won't be able to keep your windshield clean as effectively, and this can make imagery outside your vehicle appear blurry and increase your chances of getting into an accident. Windshield wiper blades can be replaced easily and inexpensively.

4. Limit Loud Music

Driving with your radio turned up to a high volume will make hearing sounds outside your vehicle more difficult. Loud music can muffle the sound of sirens from emergency vehicles, and a crash is likelier to occur if you can't hear the sounds and end up getting in the way of one of these vehicles. If you have children who are starting to drive, you should warn them of the dangers of listening to loud music while on the road.

5. Drive Defensively

You should always drive in a defensive manner and avoid any acts of aggression when behind the wheel. If another driver shows any acts of aggression toward you, it's best to try to ignore them and let them pass so that you don't end up getting into an accident with them. You should also drive no faster than the speed limit and be careful not to follow drivers too closely. If you still happened to get into an accident while driving defensively, acar accident lawyer in New York can provide legal services.

6. Schedule Needed Repairs or Maintenance Service

Any repair or maintenance work that your vehicle needs should be scheduled as soon as possible so that your vehicle will be safer to drive. Failing to schedule the required repairs could result in more mechanical problems that will make your vehicle a danger to you, your passengers, and other drivers. In addition to regularly scheduled oil changes, you should have your brakes and tires checked regularly and have your tires rotated along with other maintenance work performed whenever it's due so that your vehicle will be able to drive and stop safely.

7. Know Where Your Blind Spots are Located

Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that can't be seen by looking inside or rearview mirrors. It's important to know exactly where your blind spots are located so that you can check them manually by turning your head when you want to change lanes or back up your vehicle. Many of today's vehicles also have sensors as an additional precaution that will let you know if anything is in your blind spots when they sense that your vehicle is changing direction.

8. Limit Alcohol Consumption Before Driving

Drinking even just a small amount of alcohol before driving could impair your abilities behind the wheel, so you'll want to be mindful of how much you drink before driving or avoid drinking alcohol altogether. Most states set their blood alcohol content (BAC) maximums of less than 0.08% for drivers 21 years of age and older while driving, butAmerican Addiction Centers lists specific state information that will let you know if your state's BAC laws differ.

9. Avoid Eating While Driving

Eating while trying to drive can also put you at greater risk of getting into an accident. Eating behind the wheel can be especially dangerous if you’re attempting to eat something that's sloppy and makes a mess, as this can make your hands messier and unable to grip the steering wheel as securely. You might also be tempted to try to clean up messes from food while driving, which can put you in further danger.

10. Prevent Pets from Wandering

If you're transporting any dogs, cats, or other types of pets, you'll want to make sure that they aren’t allowed to roam freely inside the vehicle. Pets may try to climb on you and get in your face while you drive or may become frightened and react in a way that causes you to lose control of your vehicle. Cat and dog cages can help restrain pets humanely. There are also pet leashes and harnesses that work well in keeping animals from wandering.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you minimize accident risks and increase your chances of getting to and from your destinations safely. You'll also be doing your part to help keep other drivers safe on the road when you follow these tidbits of advice.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.