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Follow this advice to help prevent car accidents

Perhaps the most important ways to prevent a car accident are to use your common sense, drive defensively and be exceedingly attentive to what other drivers are doing around you. However, reading the following list of traffic safety suggestions can also help remind you of a few things you might not be doing -- just in case they have been slipping your mind recently.

When you're pulling into traffic, do it slowly. Stop, listen and look around. Be careful of any blind spots in rear view mirrors, around highway road signs, curves, buildings and behind your windshield pillars. When making a right turn, look in both directions two times, just to be sure the way is clear.

Be on alert for people driving through red lights. When the light turns green, count to three before entering the intersection to be sure that all traffic is stopped.

Be careful around semi-trucks, especially when you're passing them. These guys have big blind spots, especially on the right side, so take care when you're driving next to them. The general rule of thumb is if you can't see his or her side view mirrors, he or she cannot see you.

Eliminate in-car distractions. You need to make sure you that you keep your smartphone out of reach so you are not tempted to answer it or text message while driving. Never allow any kind of distraction to leave you without at least one hand on the steering wheel. Driving with your knees is dangerous; a gust of wind, a blown tire or a pothole could send your car flying out of control at any moment.

A few more great pieces of advice include always watching out for children, keeping the mechanics of your car in perfect working order, scanning ahead of yourself at least 12 seconds, checking behind you when backing out, never tailgating and being courteous with the other people you share the road with.

Practicing defensive driving can help you avoid accidents and injuries. Indeed, there are so many negligent and unlawful drivers on the road, we cannot take anything for granted. If you can identify these drivers and avoid them before an accident occurs, then you can bypass the need to pursuing damages in a personal injury claim. An ounce of prevention is worth a million pounds of cure in these cases.

Source: EHSToday, "Ten Ways to Avoid Car Accidents," accessed Nov. 18, 2015

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