Riverside, CA is the most populated city in Riverside County and the Inland Empire metropolitan area of California. Located about 50 miles to the southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Riverside is a blend of California metropolitan life and suburban desert community. If you live or work in Riverside, you probably drive quite a bit for work and everyday errands. It’s essential to know where most car accidents happen so you can limit your risk of experiencing an accident.
California is notorious for heavily congested traffic and routinely reports some of the highest accident rates in the country. Additionally, California also has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the U.S. When you account for these factors, it should be plain to see the importance of limiting your risk of experiencing a car accident.
High-Risk Areas of Riverside
So, where do the most car accidents happen in Riverside? There are several intersections and busy roads in the Riverside, CA area that seem to be hotspots for car accidents. For example, several intersections along Van Buren Boulevard see some of the highest accident rates in the area each year. However, the reality is that accidents can happen on any road, even when you least expect them.
Some of the most common places for accidents to happen include:
- Rural backroads. While Riverside, CA is an urbanized area, there are many quieter roads around the outskirts of the county. Nationwide, most accidents occur on rural roads. This is due to poor visibility at night and drivers’ tendency to drive faster on less-traveled roads.
- Busy city intersections. California traffic congestion is a commonly cited complaint among residents of Riverside County. In urban stop-and-go traffic, even momentary distractions can cause accidents. Additionally, multi-vehicle accidents are more likely in areas with heavy traffic.
- Residential areas. Most drivers are unaware they are most likely to experience a car accident close to home. While residential areas may seem like they have lighter traffic, these areas can not only see serious car accidents, but bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents are more likely in these areas too.
- Highways. California has some of the densest highway traffic in the country, and highways permit drivers to drive at higher speeds than most other roads. Higher speeds may make it easier to reach a destination faster, but it also significantly reduces the margin of error when it comes to preventing accidents. A driver has less time and room to slow down and stop to avoid crashing when driving at high speeds.
Ultimately, car accidents are relatively common in the Riverside, CA area, and these incidents can occur virtually anywhere. It’s essential for drivers to know how to limit their risk of experiencing an accident, but it is equally important to know what to do when an accident occurs.
How to Limit Your Risk of Having a Car Accident
Car accidents can easily result in catastrophic injuries, substantial amounts of lost income, long-term pain and suffering, and significant property damage to your vehicle. While you can never accurately anticipate how any given driver will behave on the road around you, there are some ways you can minimize the chance of causing an accident yourself:
- Drive defensively. “Defensive driving” means following traffic laws at all times, maintaining safe and reasonable speeds, allowing faster traffic to pass you safely, and disengaging from drivers who appear reckless, impaired, or otherwise dangerous.
- Eliminate distractions. It’s illegal to use a cell phone behind the wheel in California unless you have a hands-free attachment for it. However, it is best to refrain from using a phone at all behind the wheel if you can help it. Distracted driving is the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
- Don’t rush. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go so you don’t feel tempted to rush. When you are in a hurry to get where you’re going, you are more likely to speed and engage in other risky maneuvers.
- Limit driving during unsafe conditions. Riverside generally enjoys pleasant weather for most of the year, but severe weather does occur. You should try to limit driving at night or any other time when visibility is poor.
Hopefully, following these best practices can help you limit your risk of causing an accident. However, it is always a possibility for another driver to crash into your vehicle without warning. It’s vital to know the first steps to take after this type of incident.
What to Do After an Accident
No matter where it happens, if another driver causes an accident with your vehicle in the Riverside, CA area you need to know how to handle the situation. The first steps you take after the incident can have a tremendous impact on your ability to recover compensation for your losses. The first thing you should do after another driver has hit your vehicle is to stop the car and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you feel well enough to do so safely, check on the other vehicle’s occupants and call the police. California law requires drivers to report any accident that causes significant property damage, injuries, or fatalities. If you are not sure whether your accident applies, it’s best to err on the side of caution and report the accident.
While you wait for the police to arrive, take photos of the scene of the crash. Try to take photos of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle as well as the surrounding area. These photos could be crucial for a future insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. When the police arrive, answer their questions honestly but do not say anything that might be construed as an admission of fault. Once they allow you to leave, visit a doctor for medical treatment. Even if you think you only sustained minor injuries, some car accident injuries may not be immediately noticeable, and your doctor can rule out any severe injuries with an examination.
Your next step should be to contact a Riverside car accident lawyer. Even if you believe fault for your accident seems perfectly clear, the legal channels you must navigate for your insurance claim and a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver will be much easier to handle with an experienced attorney on your side. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced Riverside car accident lawyer, contact Chris and Frank today and schedule a consultation with our team.