Car accidents are no fun. Even a minor fender bender means a lot of expense and lost time while your car is in the shop. More serious accidents can mean injury and time in the hospital. Sometimes it can be even worse.
You cannot avoid every accident. Sometimes they are caused by the carelessness of others or forces beyond your control. But you can prevent accidents from being your fault, and you can minimize the harm done to you and your loved ones by taking a few simple precautions.
How to Stay Safe on The Road
These techniques are sometimes called “defensive driving.” Since you cannot control how other people out there behave and drive, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your passengers is to drive carefully and safely.
Tip #1. Don’t drink and drive.
Still the number one reason for fatal accidents in America today, drinking and driving is also the most easily avoidable cause of fatal accidents. You can’t stop someone drunk from hitting you, but you can avoid getting behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking. Even if you’re below the legal limit, having “just one drink” slows your reaction time. Designate a driver or get a rideshare after the party.
The same goes for recreational drugs. Setting aside the legality of possessing marijuana, “buzzed” driving is the same as drunk driving. No matter how you believe it improves or does not affect your driving, there is no way to know until it happens. Take a cab.
Tip #2. Obey the rules of the road.
Speed limits, no passing lanes, and other restrictions are there for a reason. High-speed driving is a contributor to about a quarter of all collisions, according to NHTSA, because it reduces your response time and distance. Passing on blind curves, taking corners too quickly, and other minor violations can become major crashes if someone else is heading in the other direction.
Tip #3. Keep your car in good condition.
Nothing is as terrifying as losing your brakes in traffic. Brake failure practically guarantees hitting at least one other car. Bald tires slip on water or oil. Radiators like to overheat in the middle of rush-hour traffic if you forget to top off the coolant. Keeping your car properly maintained is an important part of keeping you safe.
Tip #4. Don’t be an aggressive driver.
Road rage incidents are all too common on the news today. It seems they usually occur when someone gets angry at another driver who “cut them off” in traffic. Although you can’t help what someone else thinks about your driving, you can keep your own temper. Don’t deliberately cut off another driver. Avoid the urge to brake check someone who is tailgating you. If you believe someone is following you, do not under any circumstances try to confront them. Call 911 and request police assistance.
Tip #5. Don’t text and drive.
Not only is it illegal, but it is also rapidly approaching drinking as the number-one cause of accidents nationwide. Both texting and talking on a cell phone are illegal in Louisiana unless the phone is hands-free. Keep your eyes and your mind on the road in front of you.
You should also avoid any other distractions while driving, such as touch-screen dashboards and GPS devices, streaming, and other media. Even if it keeps the kids in the back quiet, you shouldn’t be listening to it yourself.
How We Can Help
Doing all these things will help keep you safe, but they cannot stop someone else from running into you. Why does that make a difference? Louisiana follows the “pure comparative negligence” rule. That means that parties in an accident may recover even if they are found to be partially responsible for their own accident.
In other words, if you are hit by a drunk driver and your medical bills total $100,000, but you are determined to be 25 percent at fault because you were seen texting just before the accident, you could only receive $75,000 in compensation.
By practicing defensive driving and obeying all the laws and rules of the road, the chances of your being found partially at fault for any accident are greatly reduced. If you are not drinking or speeding, your car is in good condition, and you were not distracted by texting or talking on the phone, then your liability for the accident is much less than the other driver’s.
If you’ve been involved in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness, contact the Lake Charles car accident lawyers of Veron Bice, LLC at 337-310-1600 and let us review your case. We can help you prove that you were being a good defensive driver and deserve compensation for your injuries and losses.