In 2015, more than 38,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents, and it is estimated that a total of 15,300 accidents occur per day.
Car accidents happen for any number of reasons, from poor driving conditions to mechanical malfunctions. However, it’s still the responsibility of every driver on the road to recognize their duties and the importance of being aware at all times when behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, despite the precautions you may take while driving, accidents can still happen. That’s why J. Gonzalez Law Firm is here to offer you the guidance you need, when you need it most. Our dedicated lawyers work around the clock to offer personal legal representation for car accident victims who need support when dealing with injury or death caused by a negligent driver.
Nonetheless, every driver should work to eliminate risk factors associated with car accidents. By making sure to avoid the following mistakes, we can save ourselves the pain and suffering of having to deal with a severe car wreck.
With today’s ever growing use of technology, roadways are becoming more and more hazardous. In fact, a State Farm study released in 2012 found that of drivers aged 18 to 29, almost half of them (48%) utilized their cellphones to search the Internet while driving. The use of cellphones while driving has been shown to be as hazardous as drunk driving – even when it involves using a hands-free set. You should avoid this distraction by checking your cellphone before you hit the road and only checking it again once you have pulled over and come to a complete stop. Remember – taking your eyes of the road for only a “second” can lead to a life changing tragedy for you or somebody else.
Focusing on directions and not on the road
Whenever we are driving in an unfamiliar area, it’s quite natural for us to want to focus on road signs, or intently follow the directions of our GPS. This can mean trouble as our attention is elsewhere, instead of on the road ahead and the drivers around us. Rear-end accidents and swerving into busy lanes are often the consequences of following directions too aggressively, rather than paying attention to what is happening on the road. Though smartphones are a great tool for finding your way around a new area, make sure that you aren’t staring at your phone as you drive. Instead pullover to a parking lot and note down important street names and turns to help you get to your destination.
Speeding in the rain
One of the most common reasons for car accidents, speeding in the rain is highly dangerous as precipitation causes the oil that has built up on the road to become slick. With speeding being a contributing factor in 28% of all traffic fatalities in 2014, rain only enhances the likelihood of being involved in a serious accident. Slow down and driver responsibly during bad weather.
Failing to keep your car maintained and tire pressure correct
It is exceedingly vital that you regularly provide maintenance to your car to avoid problems that can lead to crashes. Have your oil changed on the recommended schedule, rotate tires regularly, follow manufacturer maintenance recommendations, and always make sure that your tire pressure is pumped to the specifications provided. Low tire pressure can affect your gas mileage and make it difficult for you to turn away during an emergency situation. By keeping up with car maintenance, you’ll help to retain optimal performance and decrease the likelihood of a mechanical malfunction.
Avoid last second changes of direction
Many drivers will use their turn signal only to realize at the last second that they don’t want to head in that direction after all. An unexpected jerk back into the roadway can cause the driver behind you to rear-end you; especially if they were already close to your vehicle or if they weren’t fully paying attention to your movements. Avoid erratic movements by simply sticking with the turn and then finding your way back around towards your original destination. Yes, this can cause you to lose a couple of minutes, but losing time is ultimately better than causing a major accident that can lead to injury.
Prevent injuries with proper seat adjustments
Thankfully, cars come with options that allow for proper seat adjustments, regardless of the size of the driver. While in the driver’s seat, you should be eight to ten inches away from the steering wheel in order to allow the airbag to deploy correctly in the event of a car accident. Additionally, the seatbelt should be crossed over the middle of your shoulders and chest, and the headrest should be elevated to the extent that it is level with the top of your head. In this position, the headrest will inhibit your head from painfully whipping all the way back in a wreck. Perhaps most importantly, make sure children in the car are secured in an appropriate child safety seat for their age, height, and weight.
If you or loved one is dealing with the unfortunate consequences of an accident, then let the experienced lawyers at J. Gonzalez Law Firm fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. Our firm represents the entire South Texas community, from Rio Grande City to McAllen and down to Brownsville.
At J. Gonzalez, we know that a horrible accident can be a scary experience, and a lawsuit can seem daunting. But our trustful, diligent, and honest attorneys know how to get you the damages – and peace of mind – you deserve.