According to the CDC, the leading cause of death of individuals under the age of 45 is “unintentional injury.” In fact, unintentional injuries are responsible for more deaths every year than heart disease and cancer combined. The majority of fatal unintentional injuries are the result of a motor vehicle accident.
Fortunately, unintentional deaths can be avoided. Knowing why accidents happen and what steps you can take to limit your risk of a crash can reduce the risk of unintentional injury and death. Here are six ways you can avoid the most commonly reported accidents in Los Angeles.
1. Wear Your Seatbelt
Did you know that simply buckling up before you hit the road can decrease your risk of death by 45 percent? Each year, tens of thousands of people are killed in motor vehicle crashes across the country. Studies have found that approximately half of these victims were not wearing a seatbelt or restraint at the time of their accident. Many deaths can be avoided each year by taking a few moments to fasten a seatbelt.
2. Don’t Drive While Drunk
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t drink and drive. Unfortunately, many car accidents involve drunk drivers. In fact, an average of 29 people are killed in drunk driving accidents every day. Some studies show that the rate of fatal car accidents, and particularly those involving drunk drivers, have decreased significantly since Uber emerged in Los Angeles. Instead of driving, consider calling a cab or requesting an Uber. Choosing to take an alternative method of transportation could help to save lives.
3. Put Your Phone Down While Driving
Distracted driving is a leading cause of injury-causing and fatal car accidents in the United States. Every day, an average of 9 people are killed because of distracted driving habits. In fact, one-quarter of all fatal car accidents involve a distracted driver. You can significantly reduce the risk of an accident if you put your phone down and focus on the road.
4. Follow Car Seat Laws
Car accidents and resulting unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death of young children in the United States. Each year, children are killed in car accidents because they were either (a) not using a car seat, (b) sitting in a car incorrectly, or (c) fastened into a car seat incorrectly. You can reduce the risk of a fatal crash by making sure that your child is riding in a car seat in compliance with California state law.
Keep your child safe:
- No children under the age of 12 in the front seat
- Children under the age of 2 should be rear facing until they weigh 40 pounds are 40 inches tall
- Children between the ages of 2 and 8 should be secured in front-facing seats
- Children can opt to use a seat belt if they are at least 4’9” tall.
These laws are meant to protect kids in the event of an accident. Keep your kids safe by fastening them in well-secured safety seats in the rear of the vehicle.
5. Drive Cautiously and Share the Road
Cars aren’t driven in a vacuum. In Los Angeles, it’s common to share the road with other cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians. It’s important to focus on the road and make sure that you’re driving in a way that doesn’t create a dangerous situation. Follow local traffic laws and strive to be as cautious as is necessary.
Many car accidents happen because drivers become impatient and drive recklessly. Speeding, changing lanes without signaling, weaving between lanes, making illegal turns, and other reckless behaviors are all common causes of traffic accidents in Los Angeles. You can reduce the risk of an accident if you drive with care.
6. Approach Intersections Carefully
Approximately 40 percent of all traffic accidents happen at or near an intersection. This includes some of the most violent and deadly crashes. Many of these intersection accidents involve pedestrians and bicyclists that have little to protect themselves from injury. Using care and caution when approaching an intersection can significantly reduce the likelihood of an accident. Avoid rushing to beat a red light, making illegal turns, and speeding through an intersection unnecessarily.
Have you or someone you love been involved in a Los Angeles car accident? Contact Citywide Law Group for help. Our personal injury lawyers will help you understand your legal options and determine the best strategy for your case. We offer a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to call today.