Every driver has a responsibility to other drivers on the road to exercise reasonable caution. There are many safety precautions you can take to help avoid a car accident in California. Our Modesto car accident lawyers explain three basic safety tips for drivers.
Safety Tip #1: Do Not Drive Distracted
Distracted driving is any activity or action that takes your attention away from driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving can be visual, manual or cognitive:
- Visual. Any activity that takes your eyes off the road
- Manual. Any activity that takes your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive. Any activity that takes your mind away from driving
Many actions fall into more than one category of distraction. Texting and driving risks your life and the lives of other motorists. It involves visual, manual and cognitive distraction, which makes it especially dangerous. More examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone or to your passengers
- Eating while driving
- Messing with the radio
- Using your navigation system
- Checking social media apps
Keep your focus on driving. Deadly hazards can materialize in a matter of seconds.
Safety Tip #2: Practice Defensive Driving
Stay alert of your surroundings. This includes being aware of the other drivers around you. A couple of tips for driving defensively include:
- Maintain a safe following distance. Avoid tailgating or following too closely. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you need to break suddenly, you should be able to do it without causing an accident. If there are poor weather conditions, leave even more space, because it may take longer to stop.
- Avoid blind spots. Try to stay out of other vehicles’ blind spots. Some drivers may not check their blind spot before changing lanes, so try not to put yourself in that position. Keep in mind that commercial vehicles have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles.
Safety Tip #3: Follow California Traffic Laws
Following California traffic laws can help you to avoid an accident. A few of these laws include:
- Avoid speeding. Speeding is dangerous because it makes it more difficult to stop in an emergency and harder to control the vehicle.
- Do not drive impaired. It is illegal to drive impaired in California. This includes alcohol and/or drug consumption. Driving impaired can affect your judgment, reaction time, vision and coordination.
- Use your turn signals. Communicate with other drivers on the road by using your turn signals. This allows other drivers to know when you are changing lanes or turning.
- Wear your seat belt. Wearing your seat belt can save your life in the event of an accident. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), it can reduce the risk of a serious injury and death by 45 to 50 percent.
- Follow traffic signals. A few examples include obeying stop signs and red lights, yielding to oncoming traffic and slowing down when it is directed.
What Do I Do If I’ve Been in an Accident?
If you have been in an accident, check your passengers and yourself for any visible injuries and call 9-1-1. Your health and safety is the most important thing to worry about right after a crash.
There are also certain steps you should take to protect your potential car accident claim. See our full guide about what to do after an accident:
Speak to Our Modesto Car Accident Lawyers
Accidents can happen even when you follow these safety tips for drivers. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, consider speaking to our attorneys about your unique situation. We can help you understand your legal options and whether you have a viable claim to recover compensation. Call us at (209) 340-1110 or fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will be in touch with you soon.