The Secret To Preventing Car Accidents
Having an understanding of what causes car accidents is the secret to avoid being involved in one. For example, if you know that 31 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States in the year 2010 involved a drunk driver, you can greatly reduce your chances of being in an accident by not driving while impaired or getting in a car with an impaired driver. When you identify certain risky behaviors that cause or contribute to most car accidents, you can take steps to avoid those behavioral patterns and considerably reduce your risk of getting into a car accident. Learning about the most common causes of car accidents and acting on that knowledge can keep you and your family safe.
Stay Sober and Avoid Drunk Drivers
Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your physical and cognitive abilities. Furthermore, never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking. When on the roadway, if you see a vehicle that is swerving in traffic, keep your distance, pull over and call the authorities.
The number of alcohol-related fatalities has decreased significantly over the years, but it is still tragically high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents in the year 2010. That is 31 percent of all traffic deaths that year. In 1982, however, drunk driving fatalities made up 52 percent of all traffic deaths. There have been many awareness campaigns and DUI crackdowns since 1982, so it is reasonable to assume that our awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has resulted in a decrease in deaths.
Stay Focused and Put Away Your Phone
Another way to avoid being in an accident is to keep your eyes and mind on the roadway. The number of distracted drivers on the roadway spiked when smart phones first became popular a few years ago. As awareness grows regarding how dangerous it is to text and drive, the number of distraction-related accidents has decreased slightly. It is still, however, one of the leading causes of injury accidents. NHTSA reports that 3,328 people were killed and about 421,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes in the year 2012.
Under California law, drivers are required to operate their vehicles at or below the speed limit and drive at a speed that is appropriate given traffic, weather and roadway conditions. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."
Use Extra Caution Near Your Home
Another secret to preventing car accidents is knowing where they occur. A large number of car accidents happen near the home. When traveling on a street that you are familiar with, you are more likely to lose focus and relax. You know the streets. You know every turn and every dip. Using your familiarity as an excuse to lose focus can prove dangerous.
Driving inattentively is always extremely dangerous no matter where you are. You must remain focused in case something unexpected occurs. It only takes a moment for a child to dart onto the street or for a car to turn from a driveway without yielding the right of way. If you want to reduce your chances of being in an accident, you must remain vigilant until you reach home safely.
Secrets to Surviving a Crash
Not all accidents are preventable. You can be traveling a safe speed in your lane of traffic when an out-of-control car veers into your lane. This type of accident is common and there is rarely enough time to react. Your chances of survival are relative to the speed and size of the vehicles and the safety devices in your car. Of course, what safety devices are in your vehicle will not matter if you don't use them.
Make sure to always wear a seatbelt. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by approximately 50 percent. Airbags help as well, but they are not effective if you are not wearing a seat belt.
Understanding Your Options
If you are injured in a car accident, it is important that you take the steps necessary to protect your rights. Make sure you get the contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident and the insurance details from the other drivers involved. Notify the police, take photos of the crash site and seek out medical attention that same day. Last, but not least, research your options before making any legal decisions. Financial support may be available for all of the losses you have suffered.
An experienced California car accident lawyer at Bisnar Chase can help secure fair and full compensation for all your losses. We have more than three decades of experience protecting the rights of injured victims and their families. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.
Infographic: car accidents can be prevented including the fact that someone dies in a car accident every 13 minutes.