According to the NHTSA, there are more than 7.2 million auto accidents in the United States each year. While some collisions are minor fender benders that cause nothing more than an inconvenience, many auto accidents cause devastation through painful injuries, financial stress and more. Many collisions that could have been prevented by taking a few essential steps result in serious injury or death. What can you do to reduce the likelihood of you and your passengers being involved in a car or truck accident?

Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained

Your vehicle’s condition directly affects your ability to travel safely and confidently. Consider, for example, that a cracked windshield impairs visibility and interferes with your ability to avoid obstacles. Worn brakes prevent you from slowing and stopping the vehicle in a timely manner. Your vehicle must be in good condition in order for you to safely navigate roadways, so it is important to stay on top of all recommended maintenance services.

Drive Defensively

You may be a safe driver with a spotless record, but you share the road with other drivers who may not be as skilled or safe behind the wheel. If you have not taken a defensive driving course within the last few years, it may be worthwhile to take a refresher class. Doing so will help you to identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations as you drive. As a side benefit, you may be able to qualify for a special discount on your auto insurance premium after you complete the course.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Taking your eyes and attention off of the road even for a second or two can be dangerous and even deadly. Whether you are texting, inputting your destination in your GPS or getting distracted in other ways, you are more likely to be involved in an accident. Often, distracted drivers miss stop signs and red lights. They may veer off the road or be unable to defensively avoid accidents. If you need to take your eyes off of the road, pull over on the side of the road first.

Buckle Up

When you and your passengers are not properly buckled in, there is a greater likelihood of being thrown around the vehicle or even ejected from the vehicle during a collision. A seatbelt can make the difference between minor injuries and serious injuries or worse. As the driver, you should ensure that each passenger is properly fastened before you start driving. Also, double-check child safety seats to confirm that they are installed correctly.

Even when you take regular steps to remain as safe as possible on the road, serious accidents can happen. If you have been involved in a truck accident recently, it is important to understand your legal rights. Compensation may be available to cover your medical bills, vehicle damage and other related expenses. To learn more about your options, contact a Colorado truck accident lawyer today.