According to the NHTS Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 2015—the last year for which we have comparative data—was on track to be the deadliest year for motorists since 2007. There were 32,000 fatal car crashes nationwide—the highest since 2007 saw 37,000 fatal crashes. The number of injuries, deaths, and costs related to traffic accidents was on an upward trend.
As far as safety improvements, 2015 was the first year since 2012 where the number of fatalities increased in Pennsylvania. Initial reports indicate that 2016 could be worse.
That's why we wanted to give some simple tips that require minimal effort on our part and offer maximum safety improvements. While you cannot control what other drivers do while behind the wheel of their vehicle, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from highway accidents.
Tips to Avoid Highway Accidents
When driving on the highway, practice defensive driving by using these safe driving tips:
- Give other drivers space. This gives you more margin to make evasive moves should an accident or emergency occur in front of you.
- Always wear a seatbelt. No one ever knows when a crash is going to happen—and a lot of them happen in parking lots. Seatbelts make it 50 percent more likely that you'll survive a crash.
- Put your phone in the glovebox. Distracted driving is the cause of half of all vehicle collisions.
- Give up on driving aggressively. Driving faster or getting around traffic saves us 1-2 minutes at most—but it increases the odds that we'll hurt ourselves. What are a few seconds worth to you?
- Always have a DD. The vast majority of accidents involve some kind of impairment caused by substance abuse.
For more information about protecting yourself from highway accidents, visit the Driving Safety page of the NHTSA.
What Should You Do If You Are in a Highway Accident?
First, take stock of yourself. Are you in immediate danger? Is the other driver in immediate danger? Then, contact the police and EMS immediately.
It is vital to document the accident and your injuries as soon as possible. Take pictures of the accident scene, get as much information about the driver and the other vehicle, and obtain the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. Take clear pictures of your vehicle, the other vehicle, and any environmental conditions—dark streets, rainy weather, etc.
Once you've gotten medical attention, contact a Harrisburg car accident attorney to discuss your legal options. Insurance companies will have already started investigating your case to limit your recovery—you need your own experienced investigator on the scene. Handler Henning & Rosenberg has the skills, knowledge, and resources to fight back and win against unfair insurance company practices.
Call Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC: (888) 498-3023
Contact our accident attorneys for a free consultation. We are here to provide guidance, support, and legal counsel as you work to recover from the devastating injuries sustained in a highway accident caused by the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another driver or party. Get your free consultation today to discuss your legal options moving forward.