Play it Safe Behind the Wheel: Tips for Safer Driving During National Collision Awareness Month

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Attorney Jeffrey J. Kroll provides tips for drivers on how to keep an eye on safety during National Collision Awareness month in March and beyond.

March is National Collision Awareness Month, and I'd encourage all drivers to take a step back and explore how to be safer on the road.

According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 845 fatal crashes in 2009, resulting in 924 deaths. Illinois experienced 77 fatalities, but how many of these fatal crashes could have been prevented with a better awareness of basic driving safety?

"So often, people are unconcerned with their driving habits or take for granted the safe operation of a vehicle until they experience a collision or crash that most likely could have been avoided," said Jeffrey Kroll of the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll (http://www.kroll-lawfirm.com/). "March is National Collision Awareness Month, and I'd encourage all drivers to take a step back and explore how to be safer on the road."

Kroll recommends the following dos and don'ts for safer driving in March and beyond:

  • Do eliminate distractions. Before pulling out of the driveway, conduct an audit of potential distractions. Are the kids still arguing in the backseat? Do you really need that steaming cup of coffee, without a lid, in the cup holder? Are you trying to put on your seatbelt as you are moving? Get rid of these and other distractions to preserve your focus behind the wheel.
  • Don't multitask. Texting or emailing while driving is now banned in Illinois, but there are other temptations that can take your focus away from the road. Adjusting the radio, putting on makeup, having a snack from the drive-through, or verifying directions are all activities that "only take a second" - but that one second can create a lifetime of loss.
  • Do clean your vehicle. All it takes is one water bottle or other piece of clutter to shift under the brake pedal for an unkempt car to be a serious safety hazard. If you store a lot of items in your vehicle for work, use the trunk instead, which also ensures you won't be tempted to rummage around for something in the back seat while driving.
  • Don't drive impaired. No matter what, this is the easiest safety hazard to control. Calling a friend, taking a taxi, using public transportation, getting picked up or even walking are all tried and true ways to avoid getting behind the wheel while impaired.
  • Do keep your lights on. Driving with the headlights on during the day makes you more visible to pedestrians as well as other vehicles on the road. Many vehicles come equipped with daytime running lights; otherwise, make it a habit to switch them on and off every time you drive.

"Because so many of us have been driving for years, we may let simple safety concerns slip through the cracks, but we can all use a gentle reminder during this month-long holiday to get back on track behind the wheel," said Kroll.

About Jeffrey J. Kroll:
With 17 years' experience representing victims and their families, Jeffrey Kroll has seen firsthand the pain experienced by individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death actions. While the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll is best known for its success in fighting for victims of auto, truck and bus accidents, it has achieved record verdicts and settlements in a wide range of practice areas. Kroll is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. For more information about Kroll's work with personal injury and wrongful death cases, visit http://www.kroll-lawfirm.com.

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