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7 simple steps to prevent a car accident

The justice system in the United States has you covered if a reckless or unlawful driver hurts you, but wouldn't it be better to prevent your car accident in the first place? The answer to this question is obvious, but it's worth asking the question to draw attention to the fact that an ounce of prevention is far more valuable than millions of dollars in personal injury awards -- especially if you can avoid getting hurt or killed.

Here are seven tips every driver should follow to prevent a serious auto collision:

  • Stay out of the fast lane: In the left lane, or in the center lane, you have more room to escape a crash. In fact, most accidents happen to drivers in the fast lane.
  • Look ahead: Use your eyes to scan ahead at least six seconds in front of you. This will give you extra time to react to an upcoming obstacle.
  • Be careful of your blind spots: You can't see everything with your rear and side mirrors. Sometimes, the only way to know what's around you is to physically turn your body to look behind you.
  • Keep your hands at 10 and 2: Every race car driver knows that you need both hands on the wheel to drive effectively. Place your hands at 10 and 2 o'clock for the best traction on the steering wheel.
  • Make sure your seat is close enough to the wheel: Pull your seat up close to the wheel with your back straight for optimum control.
  • Watch out for banged-up cars: If you see a beat-up car, it's a good sign that the driver is dangerous. Give him or her plenty of room.
  • Know the limits of your vehicle: Go to an empty parking lot and practice fast stops so you know what your car is like. Also, try taking sharp corners to get a better feel for the extremes your vehicle can handle. Be gentle and careful when doing this, but test your car's limits a little bit.

Following these tips will surely help prevent a lot of vehicle crashes. Also, if you do get in a crash, consider carefully whether you might have a viable claim to pursue financial damages in court.

Source: edmunds.com, "Top 10 Editors' Tips to Prevent a Car Accident," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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