Two weeks ago today, my precious sister passed away in a tragic car accident. It was a Friday evening she was headed to the mall and then Chucky cheese with her three young children. It was raining all day that day and obviously the roads were slick. I received a phone call saying she ran off the road and hit a light pole. She was killed on impact. The three children only had scratches.
The news of my sister’s death was by far the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. The rest of my family could say the same. We also just lost our precious grandmother eleven days prior.
I have thought a lot about that night. Many of my thoughts go to how or what we should’ve done to prevent this tragic accident. I know that is senseless, because we cannot go back in time and fix something in the past. However only a fool repeats his mistakes.
A lot of my mental energy for the past two weeks have been focused on this one topic, to never have the same accident repeated by one of my family members again caused by a careless mistake.
Below is a list of things that I have thought of that everyone needs to make sure they have in order. Prevent a tragedy. If tragedy occurs, keep it from becoming a disaster.
Do Not Drive In Bad Conditions
First I would like to start off with the most obvious and the easiest. Do Not Drive In Bad Conditions. I understand this is not always possible, but I urge you when it is possible do not drive in bad conditions. Sometimes the weather and roads can be treacherous and we get out in it just for some minor or insignificant product. Every time you do that you are literally putting your life at risk. Just don’t do it.
General Vehicle Maintenance
I do not want to go into depth with this one. Just be conciouse to have the general maintenance done on your vehicles.
- Power steering
- & Etc.
We all know that flat/bald tires and wet roads do not go well together. I do not know the condition of Danielle’s tires, but if they were bald and hit a patch of water that alone could’ve been enough to hydroplane and send her off the road.
I just read a statistic from a government website that says over 78,000 car accidents are caused by bad tires. (This also includes tires are blown out.)
I hope you read that number and realize that you do not want yourself or your family to be part of this statistic. This is one of the quickest and easiest fixes to prevent a tragic disaster. After reading this article I hope you go out to your car and inspect what you are driving on.
I have seen in movies with a character was driving the car and all of a sudden the wipers stopped working, and they lost their vision on the road and ultimately lost their life. If you know that your wipers are not working you need to drive it straight to the shop, if it’s not raining, to get it fixed!
A few years ago I saw an auto parts store rain X windshield wiper fluid, and it intrigued me so I went ahead and purchased it for my vehicle. Shortly later after using it on my windshield I noticed in the rain I sometimes would forget to turn the wipers on. The reason I would forget his because I didn’t have the need to turn them on, because the rain X on my windshield worked so well.
I would suggest you go to the nearest Wal-Mart or auto parts store and buy enough of this rain X windshield wiper fluid for all of your vehicles. This will ensure the safety of your family if by chance your wipers stop.
DO NOT USE CRUISE-CONTROL IN THE RAIN
Seems like the newer the vehicle is, the easier it is to go faster and not feel like you are going that fast at all. That is why many times it is a good and safe thing to use your cruise control while you are driving because it keeps you from speeding unknowingly.
But there is one BIG exception- of when you never want to use cruise control.
That exception is in the rain and snow.
The reason you do not want to use it in the rain, is because you can feel of patch of water that you were driving over and lift your foot off the gas pedal instinctually. Whereas on the other hand if you had it on cruise control you may not feel the struggle of the car so much on that wet spot, and it may take too long for you to lift your foot to the brake pedal.
DO NOT SWERVE
You may have read the header for this section you may have already said to yourself “oh I would never swerve”. You would be so surprised at what little it takes for you to swerve your vehicle. I know you women out there if you seen the smallest squirrel you would turn your vehicle drastically to avoid hitting it.
Here’s the problem with swerving either direction on a two Lane Highway.
- If you were driving and an average speed of 50 mph and you swerve to the left you swerve into oncoming traffic which is also moving at an average speed of 50 mph that is a conbined speed of 100 mph when hit head on.
- If you swerve to the right traveling at an average speed of 50 mph and hit a stationary object like a rock, ditch, light pole, or a parked car you just hook the full impact of 50 mph.
- If you stay in your own lane and do not swerve either direction usually the object in your lane is moving in the same direction as you. If the object is moving the same direction as you, for instance a slower car, you take the speed of that car and subtract it from the speed you were traveling and that is your new impact speed, which will be dramatically lower than either side of your lane. For example, if the slower vehicle is traveling 30 mph and you were traveling 50 mph and rear in them, your impact speed is only 20 mph.
Another reason many people will swerve is to void hitting a car that is merging into your lane and does not see you. The best way to handle this situation is to use your breaks and horn but stay in your lane. Because the merger car may merge and you swerve out-of-the-way and lose your life in the car that merged had no idea that any of that happen.
- If you stay in your own lane and do not swerve either direction due to a small animal. Chances are you and your family are going to be safe. (Do not put your family’s lives at risk for an animal)
Let’s just say that the object in your lane is not traveling the same speed as you, usually this may be due to a deer or dog for some kind of other animal in the road that you were trying to avoid hitting. I will urge you to decide now that it is better to hit an animal in the road and it is to swerve your vehicle either direction out of your lane.
What you need to do is just make a decision now that you will just break as fast and hard as you can but keep your steering wheel straight.
Driving under the influence has such a negative connotation that most people when they hear of it they would say something like “Oh, I would never!”
Driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Car accidents are caused by one of three things; eyes off the road, mind occupied other than driving, and hands off the steering wheel.
Texting requires you to break all three of those.
If you have a spouse you both need to sit down and promise to each other that you will not text while driving even if it is to each other.
This is another way of saying I love you.
Please don’t text and drive.
Many people in this day and age care more about the safety of the environment and saving money on gas when they choose their vehicle than they care about the safety of their family.
Instead of choosing a vehicle that is entirely based on saving you gas money, look for a vehicle that will keep your family alive if it were in an accident.
I promise you, you will be willing to pay all the gas money in the world if your family was in a car accident and their lives were spared because of the vehicle you purchased that maybe costed little more in gas money or air pollution.
So instead of that smart car or mini Cooper choose the SUV or truck.
SEAT BELT & CAR SEAT ALWAYS!
Many times people overlook this small detail because they are not far from home, but most accidents are caused within a 5 mile radius of a person’s home.
Before you pull out of the driveway or that parking space make sure you and everyone else in the vehicle is securely strapped in. ALWAYS!
Protection after a Tragedy
FULL COVERAGE AUTO INSURANCE
Full Coverage Insurance is required on any vehicle that is financed through the bank so the choice is easy in that situation to have full coverage.
When you pay vehicle off or you own vehicle out right, you have the temptation to have the most minimal insurance if any insurance at all is high. The only time you should do this is if you can pay for a new vehicle with cash if you were to crash yours. Even people with money still use full coverage insurance, because its cheaper to buy insurance than a new car.
I am telling you to have full coverage insurance so if you are ever in an accident you are not strained financially and without a vehicle.
Do you know what you were saying to your spouse when you get life insurance on yourself? … “I Love You!”
Think about it for a minute if you were the primary income earner and you die, your spouse is stranded financially. Even if you are not the primary income earner, even you need life insurance because your spouse needs time to mourn your death and not worry about finances. Life will be hard enough going on with out you, let alone having to deal with financial difficulty.
So if you do not have life insurance yet, go out and tell your spouse I love you by getting it.
I know this is a sensitive topic anymore, because health insurance was supposed to be more affordable. You may have everything in line financially but if you miss this part and it could ruin your entire financial life.
For Example, Say that you or your spouse gets in a terrible car wreck, and they live. Great, but the reason they are living is because they were in intensive care unit at the hospital for week’s maybe even a month. You racked up $1 million in hospital bills.
If you have health insurance, depending on your coverage, it’s simple you just pay your deductible’s and you’re fine. On the other hand if you do not have health insurance, you have $1 million bill that will haunt you for the rest of your life till it is paid off.
Sometimes we do not listen to what we are being told till it is too late. It is easy to say, “Oh its just that family, it would never happen to us..” Do not let this be you or your family. You do not want to live in regret if a tragedy happened and one of the things in this list could have prevented it. Instead, feel confident that you have all these areas covered for your family.