With nearly 40 years of combined practical legal experience, the attorneys at Murphy & Murphy Law Offices know that your best option is not to be involved in an auto accident at all. There is no way you can totally eliminate your risk of being involved in a serious auto accident. However, based upon our experience, we have found that there are certain things you can do to substantially reduce your chances of being seriously injured in an auto accident. These suggestions, in many instances, are nothing more than common sense. However, by implementing these precautions you will be able to keep your self and your family safer and at less risk of harm.
Seatbelts. Always wear a seatbelt and make sure all of your passengers are wearing their seatbelts every time that you drive. More preventable deaths occur on the roadways because of the failure to wear seat belts. According to national statistics from the U.S. National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, every hour of every day someone in the United States dies because they failed to wear their seatbelt. Many permanent, life altering injuries could be avoided or eliminated by wearing a seatbelt. Do not go anywhere in a car unless you and all of the other occupants are properly wearing seatbelts.
Don’t drive under any incapacity. Never drive a vehicle when you are intoxicated or otherwise impaired due to medications, narcotics, drugs, alcohol or lack of sleep. Never ride in a car with a driver who is intoxicated or impaired. You always have options. Call a family member or friend, call a cab, take a bus, or stay where you are. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
When you drive. Although Las Vegas is a 24-hour town, the chances of being in a crash with a drunk, intoxicated or impaired driver increase in the late evening and early morning hours. If it is possible, stay off of the roadways after 10 or 11 PM until the regular morning commute hours. Avoid any vehicle that demonstrates its driver may be drunk, intoxicated or impaired. Slow down and stay back.
How you drive. Drive safely. Leave early and allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Do not speed or rush. Be courteous. Nothing can be so important that it is worth risking your life, health and livelihood so as to require you to drive in a dangerous and unsafe manner. Be polite. Don’t honk your horn at people or make obscene or threatening gestures. Avoid any type of “road rage” situations. Back off and stay safe. Treat other drivers as you would like to be treated.
Follow the traffic laws. Do not speed. Do not run red lights. Do not tailgate. Do not abruptly changed lanes. Use your turn signals. Do not make unsafe or illegal turns because you miss your turn. Go to the next intersection and circle back around.
Driving and your phone. Hang up and drive. Pay attention to what you are doing when you are driving. Do not drive and dial your phone at the same time. If you have to make or take a telephone call, pull into a parking lot and stop your car. Do not under any circumstances text while you are driving.
Stopping. When you stop your car at a traffic signal, leave 1-1/2 to 2 car lengths between you and the car in front of you. If you are hit from the rear, this will help prevent you from being sandwiched between two vehicles. If you are the first vehicle stopped at a traffic signal, do not go when the light turns green. Before going, look and make sure that all of the vehicles going in the other directions have come to a stop. Also make sure that none of the oncoming vehicles are going to turn into your path. Las Vegas has one of the highest rates of people who run red lights. By waiting 1 or 2 seconds to ensure the other traffic has stopped, you will eliminate one of the highest causes of accidents from happening to you.
What you drive. When you purchase a new vehicle, make sure that it has the highest safety rating of the vehicles in its classification and price range. Purchase a vehicle with front and side airbags. Current technology can substantially reduce the forces from an impact and reduce the chances of severe injury in a motor vehicle collision.
Maintenance. Properly maintain your vehicle. Check your brakes, tires and lights. Routine maintenance can eliminate or reduce the chances of you being in a collision because your vehicle had a mechanical failure. If you experience a mechanical failure while you are driving, do not keep driving. Pull off the roadway. Do not block or impede traffic. Make sure that you stay clear of other traffic if you get out of your vehicle. Give other drivers warning of your situation with flares, turn your emergency flashers on, and raise your hood.