Car Accident Basics and Your Responsibilities

Car Accident Basics and Your Responsibilities
Car Accident Basics and Your Responsibilities
August 14, 2016

Despite everyone’s best intentions and best efforts, accidents can and do still happen. When a car accident happens, we need to be prepared for the situation. There are basic things to know to do and to avoid doing so that missteps lead to further problems.

5,000,000+ car accident per year in the USA

In the USA, there are over five million car accidents per year. Of these, over 35,000 result in fatalities. There are on average 80 traffic fatalities per day in the USA. Given these statistics, it is a good idea for drivers and pedestrians to be familiar with common car accident procedures.

Read also: Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida

There are at least five types of car accidents

There are five most common car accident types. These are rear-end collision, side-impact, hydroplaning, hitting a parked car, and striking an animal. The first three types are “in-traffic” and involve two or more vehicles. Traffic accidents could involve many vehicles.

Defensive driving required to avoid accidents

Avoiding an accident is better than correcting a situation. There are several ways to help people avoid accidents. Drivers should use caution. You may want to consider a defensive driving course. Defensive driving courses are offered in many places. Some localities even offer insurance discounts for drivers who have taken the course.

Keep both hands on the wheel

When driving, do not talk on the phone, eat, or apply make-up. Drivers should keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Your hands should be at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. This gives you maximum flexibility and control to turn the wheel in either direction. Do not cross your hands when you are turning the wheel.

Read also: Whiplash Injury Resulting from an Accident

Vision and Visibility should be perfect

Keep your eyes moving and checking mirrors and windows. Do not get stuck fixating on one point. Keep looking for developing hazards in many directions. Make yourself visible by using headlights and turn-signals. Contrary to popular belief, headlights are meant to make you visible to others as much as helping you to see. Be careful of being in another driver’s blind spots. Safely move to another position to make sure drivers around you can see you.

Speed and distance should be maintained with prudence

Match your speed to the traffic flow around you as well as weather conditions. Drive neither too fast nor too slow. Keep a two-second distance minimum between yourself and the car in front of you. At intersections, make sure your way is clear to both enter and exit the intersection before proceeding into it.

Wear seat belts for safety

Drivers and passengers should wear seat belts. In fact, many places have laws that are strictly enforced on this issue. Children should be in safety-approved car seats if they are too small for the standard seat belt. Having children belted-in is as much for their safety as well as avoiding distracting the driver, if the child wanders loose around the inside of the vehicle.

Read also: Eight Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Steps to be taken in case of an accident

If you are involved in an accident, check everyone involved for injuries. Call emergency help if needed. Contact the police and your insurance company from the scene of the accident. Exchange information with the other drivers and witnesses. Make a note of the vehicles and license plate numbers. Make sure your insurance coverage information is in the vehicle so that it is easy to refer to. Be careful of what you say and do not admit fault.

Keep the documents of evidences and reports

Be sure to get copies of the police report. Check it carefully for any mistakes. Inform the police, your insurance company, and your lawyer of any mistakes or discrepancies. By following these steps, you can avoid an accident as much as possible. Then, if an accident happens, you can manage and navigate the situation successfully.

Read also: Things to Remember after an Accident

Article highlights

  • Car accidents will surely happen. So, we need to be prepared.
  • There are over five million car accidents per year in the USA.
  • There are five common, basic kinds of car accidents.
  • Avoiding an accident is better than repairing a situation.
  • Do not apply make-up or eat while driving; keep both hands on the wheel.
  • Keep looking for hazards.
  • Watch your speed and distance.
  • Drivers and passengers should wear seat belts.
  • There are several key steps you should take when you are in an accident.
  • There are several things you should do to manage an accident situation successfully.

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