California is a beautiful state for driving. Whether you’re a resident heading out for your daily work commute or a tourist visiting the Golden State to take in the breathtaking views and exciting West Coast culture, knowing the greatest risks on the roadways in California can help you avoid them. Car accident claims in SoCal commonly cite similar causes for accidents. The Encino car accident attorneys emphasize the importance of understanding the following common causes of car accidents can keep you from becoming an injury victim in a crash or from inflicting injuries on others.
Since cell phones became the center point of all communication and media in our lives, instances of distracted driving accidents have steadily risen. Taking your eyes off the road even for the average five seconds it takes to read a short text is long enough to travel the length of a football field while driving at 55mph. Even worse, distracted driving accidents often happen at full speeds, since the driver isn’t watching the road and doesn’t attempt to slow, stop, or avoid the accident.
The faster a car travels, the less stable it is around curves, the longer stopping distance it requires, and the greater the crash force in an accident. Speeding gives the driver less time to react to obstacles and dangers on the road. When a district sets speed limits for roadways, it’s because they’ve determined the safest maximum speed to travel on that particular road. Violating the limit not only increases the risk of an accident but may also leave the speeding driver liable for any damages caused.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances significantly increases the risk of an accident as well as liability and the possibility of criminal charges. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns, “If you feel different, you drive different.” Even drivers who test under the state’s legal limit may have significantly reduced reaction times and impaired judgment and cognitive ability. Driving under the influence risks lives on the road.
Some drivers put their own lives and the lives of others at risk by driving aggressively either out of a desire to get to their destination quickly or due to road rage incidents. When aggressive drivers cause an accident, they are liable for damages and could face charges of reckless endangerment.
Failure to leave adequate following distance between your vehicle and the one directly in front increases the risk of a rear-end collision. In most driving conditions, drivers should leave at least five car lengths, or one car length for every 10mph of speed between their vehicle and the one they’re following This ensures adequate stopping time if the front vehicle slows or stops.
Inexperienced or aggressive drivers sometimes fail to yield the right of way appropriately at four-way stops and other intersections. Intersections are the most common locations of car accidents in Southern California. It’s important to know the rules of right of way and to remain vigilant to the presence of other vehicles in intersections whose drivers may not yield the right of way appropriately.
Understanding and avoiding common causes of car accidents helps keep travelers and daily commuters safe on the road.