It has been said that most vehicle "accidents" aren't accidents at all. To say something was an accident implies the event happened purely by happenstance and not due to any negligence or inappropriate behavior. This is frequently not the case when a collision occurs.
Some of the most common causes of accidents are:
- Excessive speed
- Distracted driving
- Ignoring or missing stop signs and lights
- Driving into oncoming traffic
- Drug or alcohol impairment
These types of accidents are almost entirely avoidable by staying focused on driving, and obeying the rules of the road. Driving according to the weather conditions and using your vehicle's lighting system appropriately can play a part in collision avoidance. And performing regular maintenance on your vehicle may also reduce the risk of an accident caused by vehicle failure.
Ways to reduce the risk of injury in a collision
Of course, it is impossible to control what other drivers are doing. This means that no matter how safely you drive your vehicle, the actions of others may still cause you to be involved in a collision. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of death or injury as the result of a crash.
- You should always wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts reduce injuries and fatalities by around 50 percent.
- Motorcyclists should wear a helmet at all times. Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent.
- Parents should use appropriate car seats for infants and children. The right car seat correctly positioned decreases the risk of death for an infant by 71 percent.
Things to do when a car accident happens
Despite taking every precaution, sometimes a serious vehicle accident causing injury happens anyway. If it does happen to you, be sure you know what steps to take to protect yourself and your rights.
If you are able, call 9-1-1 immediately to report the accident if anyone is injured. Stay where you are, and do not move your vehicle if there is an injury, even if the other driver suggests it. Disturbing an accident site may make it more difficult to determine fault during an investigation.
One of the most important things to do if you are injured in a car accident is to contact a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you file reports with CHP and DMV, as well as handle insurance claims. These are things you shouldn't have to worry about during the aftermath of a serious accident.
During this difficult time, a time when you are less likely to make the best decisions about your future, a lawyer experienced with vehicle accidents in Southern California may be able to get you the results you deserve.