Car accidents are a daily occurrence. But is there anything you can do to avoid a car crash in California? Well, although you can’t prevent every collision, the answer is yes! Below, we’ll consider common car accidents and how to avoid them.

Why Do Car Accidents Happen?

Car accidents happen for many reasons. In California, the most common causes of car accidents are: 

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Careless driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Most accidents occur due to a careless, aggressive, or negligent maneuver. In other words, there’s normally someone at fault. If another driver causes a crash and you’re injured, our attorneys can help.

Young man rubbing neck after car crash in Los Angeles

Car Accident Consequences

There’s no doubt that car accidents can result in serious – if not life-changing – consequences. Common injuries include:

  • Soft tissue injuries e.g. muscle sprains and strains
  • Head injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Emotional trauma e.g. stress, anxiety, or PTSD

You may also incur losses such as car repair costs, medical bills, and lost wages from time off work. If you’re injured, or you have financial losses, contact our attorneys to discuss your options.

How to Avoid Getting in a Car Accident

We understand that you’re a careful driver. After all, that’s why you’re reading this article! But despite your best efforts to drive safely, accidents can still occur. To mitigate your risks, here are eight ways to avoid a car accident in California.

1. Drive Defensively

Defensive driving means anticipating hazards. It means being ready to respond and react to hazards on the roadway. A “good” defensive driver will:

  • Expect the unexpected
  • Proactively scan the road for hazards
  • Constantly stay alert
  • Remain aware of the vehicles and road users around them

Whether you’re on the freeway or in a parking lot, stay mindful while driving. Defensive driving could prevent a crash – and even save your life.

2. Obey Traffic Laws

Know and obey California’s road traffic laws. For example, this means obeying posted speed limits, keeping cell phones out of reach, and using turn signals.

And remember, other drivers may not pay attention to driving codes. Be prepared to act and never assume other drivers are as careful as you are.

3. Maintain a Safe Stopping Distance

A safe dropping distance means you have sufficient time to brake to avoid hitting the car in front. It also allows you to brake for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users.

What is a safe stopping distance? Leave at least two to three seconds between you and the preceding vehicle. This is the minimum stopping distance, though. Leave a wider gap if possible.

4. Remove Distractions

Distracted driving accounts for, on average, over 11,000 fatalities and injuries annually in CA. This is a hugely worrying statistic, especially given how easy it is to avoid distractions while driving.

  • Put your cellphone away and never use it while driving.
  • Consider keeping the radio off and don’t use in-car entertainment.
  • Keep children distracted for the journey.
  • Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while driving.
  • Warn your teens about the dangers of texting or using social media while driving.

5. Drive According to Weather Conditions

Whether it’s heavy rain or glaring sunlight, drive according to the weather conditions. Understand how, for example, excessive glare can impair your vision. And strong winds or storms could lead to unexpected hazards on the road.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re concerned about the road conditions, do not drive.

6. Consider Driving Courses

No matter how experienced you are, it’s never too late to learn new driving skills. Consider attending safe driving courses in your local community. You might pick up helpful hints and tips to improve your road handling.

And if you’re a newer driver, you’ll benefit from knowledge shared by more experienced drivers.

7. Avoid Peak Times

While it’s sometimes unavoidable, try to stay off busy roadways during peak hours. Congestion can lead to drivers making careless maneuvers out of frustration. There’s also a greater risk of fender benders or rear-end collisions in busy traffic.

If you must travel during peak times, remember to drive defensively and maintain a safe stopping distance.

8. Never Drive Impaired

Whether you’re tired, sick, or even just excessively hungry, don’t drive impaired. The road deserves your full attention – this is the best way to avoid a bad car accident. 

And never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Substances impair your judgment, slow your reaction time, and could even lead to sleeping at the wheel.

How to Avoid Fatal Car Accidents

Everyone wants to know how to avoid a bad car accident – especially fatal ones. However, the reality is that it’s impossible to prevent every crash. And there’s no telling how serious the consequences could be whenever there’s a collision.  

That said, here’s how you might reduce the chances of you or your passengers suffering severe injuries.  

  • Perform regular car maintenance. Check tire pressure regularly and ensure that seatbelts work.
  • Always wear a seatbelt, no matter how short the journey is.
  • Never drive fatigued. Pull over and rest if necessary.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Avoid driving if you’re emotional, angry, or stressed.
  • Always keep to the speed limit.

if you do suffer severe injury, or you lose a loved one in a crash, our attorneys can help. Call our car accident lawyers to discuss your legal options.

What to Do After an Accident

While the goal is always to avoid car accidents, let us leave you with tips on how to respond should you have a crash.

  • Seek immediate medical attention. It’s crucial to confirm if you have any injuries. You may also use evidence such as ER visits and prescriptions to support a compensation claim.
  • Exchange details with the other driver but don’t apologize. Apologizing suggests blame! This could jeopardize your insurance claim and any personal injury claim you make.
  • Report the accident. In California, there’s a legal duty to report crashes with any injuries or property damage over $1,000. Play it safe and always report a collision.
  • Contact a car accident attorney to discuss your legal rights. You only have two years from the accident date to make a personal injury claim. The sooner you start the process, the better.
  • Don’t accept an insurance settlement without calling an attorney. Otherwise, you might settle for less compensation than you should.

Free Consultation with Car Accident Attorneys in California

No matter how careful you are, auto accidents still happen. Do you need a car accident lawyer in California? Look no further than the May Firm.

Our attorneys are invested in every client we take on. We care deeply about the outcome of your case – you will become part of the May Firm family. And since we don’t charge anything unless we win your case, there’s nothing to lose by contacting us.

So don’t delay. Discover whether you have a car accident claim by contacting the May Firm. Let us fight for your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call now or reach us online.