Today having a car is a must to keep up with the ”running” life, but very often it becomes a trouble causing permanent injuries, loss of earnings, sometimes even lives… Unfortunately, car accidents lead the scale of the causes leading to death in America. Nearly 9 people die every day because of a car accident and many become disabled or heavily injured.
There are various causes of such accidents. For example, the number one cause is distracted driving. The accident happens because the driver wants to eat, talk on the phone or send a message. Second, comes the speeding. When the driver exceeds the stated speed limit 10, 20 and sometimes even 30 mph, a car accident is nearly unavoidable. We can add drunk driving, reckless driving, running red lights, wrong way driving etc. to the list.
Of course, there are also cases, when the driver becomes the victim of an accident without his own fault. Such car accidents happen because of rain, design defects, ice, snow and another natural phenomenon.
Avoid a car accident
In fact, nobody wants to get into a car accident, even those who intentionally violate the traffic law. There are some steps which you, as a driver, should take:
- Before driving check the tire tread and inflation. Make sure they are in a good condition. Pay attention to the dash warning lights; switch them off if they are on, check the seatbelt, engine, brake system, and airbag.
- Be attentive and aware of the surroundings of your car. Check the rear-view mirror to see the cars moving by and people passing by.
- Don’t change lanes without checking blind spots. This will help you avoid side-swiping accidents.
- While entering an intersection, look both ways no matter it is a green or red light.
- Don’t forget to turn signal lights before changing the lanes. Other cars will slow down or stop to let you pass.
- Keep a distance. When pushing the brake, you need some seconds to stop the car. The safe distance depends on the speed, so the more speed the more distance.
- It is better to plan your driving. If there are 2 ways to your destination, choose the one with less traffic or technically easier to drive. Sometimes it is better to take a long way rather than the shorter one.
Account for yourself as a driver and for the ones who surround you. Try to have a safe drive to avoid consecutive damages and unnecessary expenses. And apply some more tips while driving.
Keep your two hands on the wheel
This helps to easily control the vehicle in any emergency situation. Keep your hands on the ”clock’s” 10 and 2 o’clock position. Yes, this is not the most comfortable position, but the most flexible to adjust the course.
Never forget to wear a seat belt
Even if you are going to have a 5 minute trip on your car, you must wear the seat belt. To buckle up the belt you just need a second, but the accident can take more than a second from your life.
By the way, if you are with a child, sit him/her in a booster seat or car seat. Child under 12 can’t be sat in the front passenger seat or other seats with airbags.
Only drive, no other actions allowed
There are many don’ts while driving. The main don’ts are: talking on the phone, reading directions, eating etc. In America, approximately ¼ of all traffic collisions are because of phones.
Clean the windshield and mirrors
To see the surrounding of the car, you need to keep the mirrors and glasses clean. Be sure that your windshield wipers work well. Your vision depends on them, especially in bad weather. Besides, keep the mirrors positioned properly as well. This will help to see what’s behind, next to or in a blind spot.
A car is an amazing finding for the whole humanity. They are made to provide freedom and comfortable transfer to us. But very often we forget this ”pleasure” can be dangerous as any other machine if used improperly. If you follow all the mentioned tips and add some of yours, these will ensure your 100% concentration while driving on your dearest vehicle. Just pay active attention while driving, and not only you but other drivers as well will avoid a car accident.
Consider thoroughly both while obtaining and driving a car! You are transferring your and others’ lives! A second may cause a whole life gone. Drive safe and stay safe!
BUT even if you follow all the steps to avoid an accident, there is, of course, a certain percentage of risk to have a car accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the injuries vary in gravity and ‘demand’ corresponding approach to avoid negative outcomes.
However, there are some useful and important things to do at the scene of the car accident and after the accident.
As a driver, you should always be ready for possible accidents. Keep the following things in the glove box:
- First aid guidebook
- Cutter for the seat belt and window breaker
- Camera to take photos
- Bottled water
- Hand wipes
And what steps to take after an accident:
Don’t leave the scene
You shouldn’t leave the scene of the accident, especially in the cases when someone got injuries or was killed as a result of the accident. This is a must rule to avoid serious criminal penalties because you can be considered as a hit-and-run driver.
Call the police
You need to call the police when somebody is injured, or when the total damage to all cars and/or vehicles is more than $2000. The emergency operator will give some instructions to you, follow them. Don’t try to move anybody who is injured not to make the situation worse. But if the total loss doesn’t pass $2000 and no one is seriously injured, then call Collision Reporting Center within 24 hours.
You should take the names, phone numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate number, and insurance information from all drivers who are involved in the accident. Don’t quarrel with anyone, just try to be cooperative. But this doesn’t mean that you should apologize and say ”Sorry this was my fault.” This sentence can bring you to legal liability and make your condition worse.
Call your insurance company
Your insurance company must know every detail about the accident and the extent of your injuries. If you don’t provide truthful information, the insurance agency will find it out and cause you a serious trouble, including loss of the coverage.
Obtain your property damage valuation
After the accident, your insurance company will surely try to evaluate your damages. Don’t get upset or don’t give up if the value doesn’t meet your expectations. In such cases think about mediation or contact your attorney.
Any damage to your car should be photographed as evidence. This will help the insurance company to determine the amount of your compensation. This will also offer ”before and after” compare-contrast of the car to see the real damages to the vehicle.
Surely, the steps can be filled with some others as well, but the one which we would like to add refers to your legal defense:
Hire an attorney
You need a car accident attorney especially in the cases when there are injuries caused to the individuals. He/she can help to increase your recovery and/or defend you if you are accused. The rule for hiring an attorney is such: ”The more serious the injuries, the greater the value of hiring a lawyer.” While hiring an experienced attorney you will get the compensation you deserve. Besides, this is a kind of ”law bodyguard” to save you while in trouble. In fact, the law on the car accidents differs from state to state. Be careful to find an attorney who is specialized based on the rules and regulations of your state.
Never do the following!
Keep silent! Never discuss the case with any party. Don’t share with them the info about your actions before and after the accident. All these can be used against you. Even if you know about the degree of your guilt, don’t speak about it at the scene of the accident without your attorney. Just collect get facts without involving in any discussions. Even if the other party tries to convince you to admit the fault and handle the accident without insurance company’s awareness, don’t agree.
There are different types of insurances. You may never know what type of insurance has the person you deal with during the accident. Your gained facts and evidence are the best proof to protect you on the way of getting paid for the damages.
So, car accidents are one of the worst events which could happen to you. These may lead to not only injuries but in some cases to the loss of driver’s license for several years or even forever. While driving, keep in mind that there are people waiting for you at home…
For support contact our skillful attorneys to protect your rights.