• Tom Girardi

Ways to take your safety into your own hands on California roads

There are more vehicles on Southern California roadways than ever before. Putting that many vehicles and that many drivers into the same space is a recipe for disaster. You have to trust that others are paying attention and won't make mistakes. However, you know that's not always the case.

How to drive defensively

Driving defensively could help keep you from ending up in an accident. What does it mean to drive defensively? Below are some tips that you may not know, or you do know them but could use a reminder.

Keeping the following tips in mind can help get you safely to your destination:

  • Go with the flow: Living in the Los Angeles area, you probably already know that you need to keep up with the flow of traffic. Otherwise, you may feel like the other vehicles are going to run you over.

  • Be predictable: Part of the intent of traffic laws is to make sure that everyone takes the same actions, which increases the predictability of the behavior of those around you.

  • Stay in your lane: Even the smallest distraction can move your vehicle into another lane, and with the amount of traffic in this area, that could be disastrous, especially for motorcyclists.

  • Trust no one: Even though you may want to, don't trust that other drivers will be as diligent as you are.

  • Yield to others: When you are in traffic, it may go against your instincts to yield to other drivers, but it could save your life.

  • Avoid emotional driving: Don't let your emotions get in the way of safe driving. You've probably heard enough stories about road rage to know that.

  • Watch the road: You probably know every pothole and bump along your normal routes, but keeping up with where road crews, traffic jams and other obstacles along your route are could help.

  • Don't drive tipsy: This may go without saying, but don't drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. You won't be able to respond as quickly, your inhibitions are down, and you probably won't have the ability to focus.

  • Watch your speed: Speeding also lowers your reaction time, and in Southern California traffic, you need as much time to react as possible.

  • Reduce distractions: Anything that takes your eyes, mind and/or hands off the roadway is a distraction that puts your life and the lives of everyone around you in danger.

  • Keep your distance: Follow the vehicle in front of you from a safe distance. The more time you have to stop, the better.

  • Keep track of your blind spots: Other vehicles may not pay attention enough to know you can't see them.

The more deliberate your actions are on the road, the safer you will be. Maintain focus and share the road. Unfortunately, accidents still happen. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in California, don't trust that your insurance company will get to all the benefits you deserve. A legal professional can help.