Resolve to Be a Better Driver in 2017 January 3, 2017 The numbers for 2016 have not yet been tallied, but more than 2,900 motor vehicle accident-related deaths occurred in Florida in 2015, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute. Because many auto accidents are preventable, there are behaviors every driver can change to help reduce car accident rates. We can all be better drivers in 2017 by resolving to adhere to these easy-to-follow rules: Ignore distractions: Even before communications technologies became standard equipment, we had plenty of distractions while driving, including children in the backseat, the radio or CD player, even eating and talking. Now, our cell phones and GPS devices add to the activities that can divert attention from the road. Resolve to pull over to a safe spot if you need to take your eyes off the road. Maintain a safe distance: Having sufficient time to react to unexpected actions by the driver in front of you can mean the difference between having an uneventful trip or a serious accident. Resolve to follow the three-second rule to keep a safe distance: If you can’t count to three before you reach a fixed point passed by the car in front of you, you’re following too closely. Follow the speed limit: Even the safest, most experienced driver can’t anticipate what may happen on the road. Keeping your driving speed close to the posted limit increases your chances of avoiding a preventable accident and lessens the chance you’ll be the cause of one. Stay calm: Stories of road rage seem to be more common, but the dangerous consequences of this behavior are avoidable. Being impatient won’t change your traffic troubles, and engaging with an angry driver will only make the situation worse. Don’t drink and drive — ever: MADD estimates that two out of three people will be affected by drunk driving in their lifetimes, and that every two minutes, someone is injured in an accident involving a drunk driver. Being the cause of this tragedy is completely preventable: Resolve to never drink and drive, not even when you’ve had only a small quantity of alcohol. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an auto accident, get medical treatment and call 904-251-1111 or 800-251-1111 to speak with one of Harrell & Harrell’s experienced auto accident attorneys.