According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, every sixty seconds, a car accident occurs somewhere in the U.S. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that an estimated 38,000 people were killed in U.S. motor vehicle accidents in 2019.
Deadly accidents frequently occur on California’s large and congested highways. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that there were 3,563 car accident fatalities throughout the state in 2018 alone. Los Angeles County is the site of many of these fatal accidents. Some of the most dangerous roads in Los Angeles are:
- Sierra Highway – Santa Clarita Valley
- I-405 in Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys
- I-5 Golden State Freeway
- Route 57
- State Route 118 / Ronald Reagan Freeway
If you have been involved in a serious car accident in Los Angeles that resulted in either injury or the death of a loved one, don’t delay and contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer immediately.
It’s likely that all drivers and passengers may experience at least one crash in their lifetime.
Here are eight ways you can avoid serious car accidentsCar accidents have been increasing at an alarming rate. It’s likely that all drivers and passengers may experience at least one crash in their lifetime. However, there is a way to avoid this.
1. Always Buckle Up and Wear Your Seatbelt
Regardless of how close or far you’re traveling, wearing your seatbelt is pretty much the golden rule to safe driving. It can decrease your risk of death by 45 percent.
Every year, thousands of people are killed due to major car accidents, with half of these victims not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Those deaths could have been avoided, don’t risk your safety, don’t forget to buckle up every time you drive or ride a car.
2. Regularly Maintain Your Car
If you drive your vehicle every day, you must perform regular maintenance on your car. Some car owners tend to overlook this, which can cause major accidents.
Here are some parts that you should regularly check and maintain:
- Regular oil changes
- Regulating tire pressure
- Rotating tires
- Checking battery life
- Replacing worn-down brake pads
- Replacing wiper blades
- Replacing the air filter
- Replacing old spark plugs
3. Don’t Drink and Drive
According to data published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were more than 1,000 DUI accident deaths in California in 2017 alone. Drunk driving accidents don’t just endanger the intoxicated driver’s life, but the lives of the other people on the roadway as well.
Some drivers think that they are not “intoxicated enough” not to drive and still go behind the wheel. This can result in fatal accidents. No matter how sober you think you are, it’s still better to call a cab, ask a friend to drive for you, or request an Uber. Be a responsible driver. This isn’t just for your safety, but for the safety of the other people on the road as well.
4. Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving comes in many forms. It can be using your phone while driving, grooming yourself while you’re behind the wheel, or multi-tasking. No matter how menial you think those tasks are, they can still put you at serious risk.
Distracted driving doesn’t have to involve a cell phone or other type of technology. It could be children in the back seat, emotions that get the best of a driver or even driving past a disabled vehicle. Multi-tasking to the point of task-saturation while behind the wheel is a severe form of driver negligence.
Avoid any form of distraction while you’re driving. Always keep your eyes and your attention on the road. Put your phone on silent mode, and tell your passengers to keep distractions at a minimum to avoid getting involved in a major accident.
5. Follow the Speed Limit
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly ten thousand victims were killed across the United States in 2018 in auto accidents caused by speeding. In 2017, speeding was a factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities.
The higher a vehicle’s speed, the more force it will generate when it collides with another object. The faster you drive, the harder it is to step on the brakes as well.
Unfortunately, according to a study conducted by OTS, nearly 57 percent of Californians believe that it is okay to drive ten mph over the speed limit on this state’s freeways.
Different cars have different stopping times, and drivers must be prepared to stop in time to avoid collisions, regardless of what type of vehicle they are driving.
6. Avoid Driving at Night
Although you can’t completely avoid driving at night, it’s still important to note that the number of fatal car accidents is three times higher at night than in the day. If you are a new driver, it’s best to avoid driving during the evening hours until you are comfortable enough to drive during the day.
7. Learn How to Adjust the Steering Wheel Properly
Every driver should know how to adjust the steering wheel before starting the engine properly. The steering wheel should always point towards the driver’s chest instead of the face. This is because the majority of steering wheelhouse airbags work better when they are pointed towards the chest.
8. Do not tailgate
Tailgating is when a driver drives behind another vehicle without leaving enough distance to stop, this can cause a collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.
Some drivers tailgate because of the following:
- Retaliation, intimidation, or road rage
- Overestimating their driving skill
- Attempting to draft (driving very close behind a larger vehicle attempting to increase gas mileage by reducing drag).
No matter what your reason is, tailgating is not justifiable. The golden rule to avoid unintentional tailgating is by allowing at least three seconds of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.