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Five tips for staying safe on the road

In 2018, an estimated 40,000 people died in auto accidents in New York and across the U.S., and 4.5 million were injured as well. Every seven seconds in this country, someone is being injured in a car crash. To reduce the risk for a crash, then, drivers will want to incorporate five tips into their driving.

Actually, it all begins before one even enters the car. Vehicle maintenance is essential and should be handled by a professional. If drivers neglect this and their car develops bad brakes or electrical issues, they will either cause a crash or be unable to avoid danger ahead. Second, drivers should know not to drink and drive. Every year, drunk driving claims the lives of some 10,000 people, including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Once they are on the road, drivers should ensure that one hand is always on the steering wheel. They should be able to discern when they need both hands for a turn. At all times, drivers should be patient and courteous as there are too many accidents that arise from aggressive driving and road rage.

Lastly, avoid the phone behind the wheel. Hands-free phone use may be allowed since it creates no visual distraction, but it could still be considered a cognitive distraction.

Most auto accidents are caused by driver negligence, in which case those who are injured through little or no fault of their own may pursue a personal injury case. New York is a no-fault state, so victims must file a first-party insurance claim before considering a third-party claim. There are restrictions on who can file against a negligent driver's auto insurance company, so victims may want a lawyer to evaluate their case. If a case is valid, the lawyer may handle negotiations.

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