Monday, February 2, 2015

What Can I Do to Avoid a Car Crash?

As a plaintiffs’ personal injury attorney, I bring a claim on my client’s behalf after they’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence. Negligence, in the eyes of the law, occurs when someone fails to use the same degree of “reasonable care” as an ordinary cautious person would under the same circumstances. This means that one does not have to act with any malicious intent, or even with a reckless disregard for someone else’s safety in order to be held liable for someone’s injuries. Rather, failing to use reasonable care constitutes negligence and is enough to make you responsible for the injured party’s damages.

The concept of negligence is important because when I evaluate the majority of my cases, it is truly astonishing to see that if the at-fault party had just been more careful—utilized the same degree of reasonable care as an ordinary cautious person would have—then my client would not have sustained injury. Using basic ordinary care while operating a motor vehicle makes all the difference in the world to your own livelihood and the safety and well-being of others who share the road with you. Following a few simple safety tips when you get behind the wheel of your car is all it should take to avoid having to serve as a defendant in a lawsuit or worse, being the victim of a collision. 

1.  Position yourself correctly in your vehicle

Simply making sure you are correctly situated behind the wheel of your car can help to ensure your safety if you are the victim of a car crash and can help you best maneuver and react to sudden changes on the roadways to avoid a collision. Always take care to drive with two hands on the wheel, in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Ensure you are seated close enough to the wheel that your feet are easily able to reach the accelerator and brake. Adjust your headrest according to your height. Be sure to check your side and rear view mirrors before you drive.

2.  Avoid the Fast Lane

Most accidents on highways occur in the fast lane (the far left lane of travel). Try to avoid driving in the fast lane unless you are attempting to pass the vehicle in front of you. More aggressive drivers tend to only drive in the fast lane. Knowing who to avoid on the road is critical. 

3.  Understand the weather conditions

Remember that the definition of negligence is the failure to use reasonable care as an ordinary cautious person would in like circumstances. This means that the circumstances dictate the level of care one should be employing on the roadways. If there is heavy rain, you should not be traveling as fast as you would if it was bright and sunny. Florida law requires you to utilize your headlights in the rain. In inclement weather, it’s essential you adjust the way you drive accordingly. Always take extra care when the weather requires it.

4.  Properly Maintain Your Vehicle 

Your car requires you to keep up on its routine maintenance in order for it to run efficiently. Checking your tire pressure and treads, as well as your oil and battery is important.  Have your vehicle inspected and maintained routinely, even if your state (such as Florida) does not require annual inspection in order to maintain your registration.

5.  Do Not Tailgate and Do Monitor Changes in Traffic Patterns 

Everyone knows not to tailgate, yet many people do. You should keep a 3 second gap between you and the vehicle traveling in front of you. This gap should be increased to 5 seconds in inclement weather. At a stoplight or stop sign, you should be able to see the back wheels of the vehicle in front of you. Leaving an adequate space means that if you are rear ended, you can avoid being inadvertently pushed into the car in front of you as a result of the force. Moreover, should an emergency situation present itself and require you to change your route, you will be able to turn and maneuver your vehicle accordingly. 

Following these few simple guidelines can help prevent you from becoming the victim of car crash, as well as inadvertently causing a crash and ending up having to defend yourself in a lawsuit. For more information, call the attorneys at Dolman Law Group, 727-451-6900 or email me, Julia@dolmanlaw.com

800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900


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