Car accidents are a leading cause of accidental deaths and serious injuries throughout the United States. While it’s impossible for any driver to accurately predict how other drivers will behave 100% of the time, there are some best practices all drivers should follow to minimize their risk of experiencing car accidents. The team at Chris and Frank strive to provide our clients and prospective clients with helpful information that can assist them in various legal situations.
5 Tips to Avoid Auto Accident in San Diego, CA
Consider the following 5 tips to avoid car accidents in San Diego, California. Remember to seek legal counsel from a trusted attorney when you have sustained injuries due to the actions of another driver.
- Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is the most commonly reported cause of accidents across the country. Every day, thousands of people sustain injuries due to distracted drivers ignoring their surroundings. Generally, there are three forms of distractions that can easily cause severe car accidents:
- Visual distractions take a driver’s off of the road ahead.
- Manual distractions require using the driver’s hands when they should be maintaining control of the vehicle.
- Cognitive distractions draw the driver’s attention away from the operation of the vehicle.
Some distractions, such as cell phone use, involve a combination of these distractions and pose even greater dangers to the distracted driver and everyone around them. Therefore, one of the best ways to limit your risk of having a car accident in San Diego is to prevent yourself from becoming a distracted driving statistic and remain focused and attentive behind the wheel.
- Never Drive Under the Influence
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and illegal. Any driver who causes an accident because of intoxication will face not only criminal prosecution under California’s DUI laws but also civil liability for any damages they cause.
Ultimately, there is never a good reason to drive under the influence. There are many alternatives available in San Diego if you need a ride and are too intoxicated to drive yourself, such as taxis, public transportation, and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Even if you think you are only mildly tipsy, it is always best to avoid intoxicated driving at all times.
- Avoid Rushing
Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going so you do not feel compelled to rush while behind the wheel. Speeding and moving violations are leading causes of car accidents throughout the San Diego, CA, area . Many people engage in these dangerous behaviors because they are rushing to reach their destinations. Try to leave early whenever possible, so you have extra time to account for traffic and unexpected delays on the way to your destination.
- Drive Defensively
“Defensive” driving is a great habit to adopt if you want to limit your risk of having a car accident in southern California. However, this is a blanket term that applies to safe driving practices, such as always following posted speed limits and moving with traffic flow, signaling for lane changes and turns where appropriate, and disengaging from aggressive and dangerous drivers.
Defensive driving also means eliminating distractions and allowing faster-moving traffic to move around you easily. When you make distracted driving a habit, you limit both your risk of having a car accident and the chance of you incurring liability for an accident.
- Pay Close Attention to Vehicle Maintenance
All drivers have a responsibility to address known maintenance issues with their vehicles promptly. If your Check Engine light turns on or you notice performance issues with your vehicle, it is always best to have these issues inspected as soon as possible. A seemingly mild mechanical issue with your vehicle can easily lead to more severe problems later, potentially resulting in an accident. If a driver has a car accident because they failed to address a maintenance issue with their vehicle, that driver will likely absorb liability for the resulting damages.
What to Do After a Car Accident in San Diego, CA
The aforementioned tips will hopefully help you reduce the chance of experiencing a car accident in San Diego, CA, but it is impossible to anticipate how other drivers might behave at any given time. Car accidents can occur entirely without warning, and despite your best efforts to drive defensively, you could suffer severe injuries due to the actions of another driver. Therefore, while it’s vital to know how to avoid car accidents in San Diego, it is equally vital to know what to do when an accident occurs due to forces beyond your control:
- Stop your car as soon as the collision is over, and you can do so safely.
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries before checking on the other vehicle if it is safe to do so. Your health and safety should be your primary concerns after any car accident.
- Report the accident to the police. California requires drivers to call 911 to report car accidents resulting in significant property damage, injuries, or death.
- Take photos of your injuries, your vehicle, and the surrounding area. You may need these photos for an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
- Do not admit fault, even if you think you may be partially to blame for the accident. Answer responding police officers’ questions honestly and concisely but choose your words carefully and do not say anything they might interpret as an admission of guilt.
- Seek medical care immediately, even if you think your injuries are minor. This will establish a record that you sought treatment promptly after your accident and identify any injuries that aren’t immediately apparent.
- Contact an attorney. The right personal injury lawyer will make it much easier for you to secure an insurance claim settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, and they can also guide you through the necessary steps to file a personal injury claim and maximize your recovery.
Car accidents can happen at any time in many different ways, and doing your best to avoid car accidents will inherently make you a safer driver. In addition, this means that if an accident does occur, you will be far less likely to absorb partial liability for the resulting damages, and you will have more flexibility to hold the at-fault driver accountable for your damages.
If you need legal assistance after a car accident in San Diego, CA, the attorneys at Chris and Frank are ready to help you. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options after a car accident in San Diego.