There are more than 6 million car accidents in the United States alone each year, and more than 90 people die from crashes every day. If you’re a driver, that means you are always at risk of getting into an accident on U.S. roads.
However, if you drive responsibly, you will be less likely to be involved in a car accident. By avoiding reckless driving behavior, being prepared to act after an accident, and having the right car insurance policy, you can save your life -and your finances after a collision. Also, knowing which local car accident lawyer to call after a crash can make things significantly more manageable for you.
Read on to learn more about these tips to avoid car accidents and what you should do if you get into one.
How to Avoid Car Crashes while Driving
When behind the wheel, you must drive responsibly to protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road. Therefore, you should always keep the following in mind:
1. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Many drivers use their phones, eat, text, talk too much with passengers, and don’t give 100% of their attention to the road. These distractions can impair your reaction time in an emergency, and you will be more likely to get into an accident.
Many factors can distract a driver. Some of the significant driving distractions are as follows:
- Texting while driving: 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States happen for this reason. Put your phone down while driving; it’s not worth risking your life to answer a text message.
- Using the GPS while on the road: Even a brief glance at the GPS while driving can be catastrophic. Don’t risk it, be sure to adjust it before setting off or ask your copilot to do it for you. If you must follow the GPS, make sure to activate sound instructions so you don’t have to keep looking at the screen all the time.
- Talking to passengers: You may feel rude if you don’t speak to your passengers, but doing it too much can take your focus off the road.
- Daydreaming: Your mind may wander while driving on a familiar road, but this could cost you dearly. A few years ago, daydreaming was responsible for 62% of car crashes. Try to focus on the road at all costs.
- Children or pets: Having children or pets lose in the car can lead to disaster. Be sure to keep your pets buckled up inside the vehicle. On the other hand, give your children a book or toy to keep them occupied while you drive.
Driving safely requires all your attention. Don’t multitask while behind the wheel; if you need to take a call or do anything else that might distract you, pull over and do it without risking your life.
2. Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the National Health and Safety Administration, about 28 people die from drunk driving accidents every day. One-third of all fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver.
There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks, but you should stay away from the wheel afterward. Call an Uber to get home or ask a friend to pick you up. All DUI accidents are preventable, so don’t risk your life unnecessarily.
3. Follow Speed Limits
Speed limits exist for a good reason. They inform you of the safest speed at which you should drive on the road to avoid losing control of your vehicle. Driving fast may be exciting, but you won’t be able to react in time to an unexpected object on the road or the sudden movements of another vehicle, and it will take you longer to stop your car if necessary.
4. Beware of Blind Spots
One of the biggest threats behind the wheel is what you can’t see. While your rearview and side mirrors are valuable tools for looking behind your vehicle, don’t put all your trust in them. Look over your shoulder to make sure you are safe before making a turn, changing lanes, or entering the freeway.
Also, you should avoid getting into other drivers’ blind spots. If they can’t see you, they can’t prevent crashing with you.
5. Avoid Driving at Night
Night-time isn’t the ideal time to drive. You will always be more prone to accidents while driving at night. Your visibility will be limited, and you may share the road with more drunk drivers than in the morning. If you must drive after dark, be extra alert to road hazards and drive slower than usual.
6. Be Prepared for Poor Weather Conditions
Driving in the middle of a storm or on an icy road is more complicated. However, you should be ready to face these driving challenges. Keep your distance from other vehicles and drive slowly and carefully.
7. Don’t Drive while Tired
If you are sleepy or feel tired, you should stay away from the wheel. Fatigued driving is hazardous. Your reaction times will slow down dramatically, and your judgment will be impaired. Rest in a safe place before driving or taking turns at the wheel with another person during long trips.
What should You Do after Getting Into a Car Crash?
No matter how careful you are on the road, some accidents are unavoidable. So, you should know what to do after a collision to be compensated for your damages.
1. Check for Injuries
Right after the crash, check for any injuries in yourself. If possible, check your passengers as well. If you suffered a severe injury, avoid moving and wait for an ambulance to arrive if you can’t call 911 yourself.
2. Call the Police
Even in minor accidents, you should always call the police. The officers will assess the situation and determine who was at fault for the accident. They will then include this and other details in the police report. During your compensation claim, the police report will be a crucial piece of evidence.
3. Call Your Car Insurance Company
At the accident scene, call your car insurance company to explain the details of the incident while they are fresh in your mind. Your insurance agent will explain your policy coverage and the following steps to take to obtain a possible compensation.
4. Document the Crash
If your injuries allow it, collect as much evidence as possible at the accident site and document any details you can. Take photos of the wreck and your injuries, get the other driver’s contact information and that of all witnesses.
5. Call a Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
Being prepared is priceless, and having an attorney by your side is extremely helpful in these situations. Most car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you want to find out how they can help you.
Working with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need after a crash. The attorney will guide you every step of the way, and you will only have to pay them a percentage of the settlement you receive.