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8 Ways You Can Avoid an Auto Accident

Wrecked CarYou’ve probably heard the expression “accidents happen.” But when it comes to auto collisions, accidents don’t just “happen.” In most cases, people cause accidents. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 10.8 million car accidents occur every year, resulting in 35,900 deaths.(1) Of those, only about 6 percent are due solely to vehicle or roadway factors.(2) In the other 94 percent of cases, the driver is solely or partially at fault.

So how can you protect yourself – and your car – from the pain and expense of being in an auto accident? Here are eight proven strategies:

1) Don’t Drink and Drive. You’ve heard this a thousand times, but it’s true. Drivers impaired by alcohol are responsible for about 40 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Safety Council.(3) Even a single drink can significantly reduce your reaction time and ability to avoid collisions.

2) Don’t Text While Driving. Any distraction can make it more difficult to avoid an accident, but texting is particularly risky. A study by Car and Driver magazine found texting adds 70 feet to the average stopping distance when traveling 35 mph.(4)

3) Avoid Driving at Night. Darkness impairs vision. There’s no mystery there. And the hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. are when you’ll find the great number of drunks on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.(5) In fact, the hours between midnight and 6 a.m. account for about 60 percent of all lethal crashes.

4) Avoid the “Fast Lane.” On multiple-lane roads, most accidents occur in the leftmost lane where speeds are fastest, and escape routes are fewest. To reduce your chances of being in an accident, only use the “fast lane” for passing.

5) Keep Your Hands at the 9 O’clock and 3 O’clock Positions on the Steering Wheel. Many people prefer to drive with just one hand at the top of the wheel or both hands at the bottom. While comfortable, these positions greatly impair your ability to make fast, controlled maneuvers in the event of a sudden threat.

6) Keep Your Eyes Moving. You can prepare yourself to react quickly to potential threats by constantly scanning the road ahead. Stay aware of what’s happening around you. Never allow your concentration to fix on a single point – especially one inside your car.

7) Watch Your Blind Spots. All cars have blind spots in the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions. They’re outside your peripheral vision, and your mirrors can’t see them, either. Always check blind spots for hidden or approaching cars before changing lanes. (Note: Some higher-end cars now have radar-equipped blind spot warning systems. Even so, it never hurts to make a visual check before moving from one lane to another.)

8) Don’t Speed. The faster you drive, the harder it is to react in time to avoid an accident. Granted, on open freeways, many – if not most — people don’t stick to the posted limit. So the best rule of thumb is to keep up with traffic – but don’t try to go faster.

Become an Auto Collision Repair Specialist with WyoTech

Even with the best of efforts, car crashes remain a fact of life. Which is why auto collision repair is a $23 billion-a-year industry, employing more than 800,000 men and women nationwide.(6) Is this an industry you’d like to join? If so, you can get the education and training you need to enter the auto collision repair field at WyoTech.

WyoTech is one of America’s leading schools preparing students for jobs in the auto industry. WyoTech offers the Collision/Refinishing Technology program at its campuses in Blairsville, Pa.; and Laramie, Wyo. At whichever campus you choose, you’ll enjoy hands-on training in a modern workshop setting. Your teachers will be industry pros. You’ll get to learn and practice using the same equipment used by most 21st-century auto repair shops.

When you graduate, you can get further support from WyoTech’s Career Service professionals. They can help you with everything from writing a winning resume to practicing interview techniques to setting up interviews with local employers.

Get More Information

For more information on WyoTech’s collision refinishing and repair career training, contact WyoTech today.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

1. Source: U.S. Census – Motor Vehicle Accidents – 1990-2009: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf.
2. Source: Harry Lum & Jerry A. Reagan (Winter 1995) – Interactive Highway Safety Design Model: Accident Predictive Module: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/95winter/p95wi14.cfm.
3. Source: National Highway Safety Council – Impaired Driving: http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/DriverSafety/Pages/ImpairedDriving.aspx
4. Source: Car & Driver Magazine, Texting While Driving – How Dangerous Is It? http://www.caranddriver.com/features/texting-while-driving-how-dangerous-is-it
5. Source: What Time of Day to Most Accidents Occur? http://coverhound.com/blog/post/what-time-of-day-do-most-accidents-occur
6. Source: U.S. Census – Statistics of U.S. Businesses – http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/

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