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How to Stay Safe on California Roadways

Written by: Ercolani Law Group

Safe Driving Tips for California Motorists

California has some of the most beautiful roadways in the country. Scenic routes exist throughout the state through rural coastlines, bordering breathtaking mountains and desert landscapes. 

Unfortunately, many of California’s highways are also heavily congested with bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours on end. Navigating these roads can be difficult, but there are ways to keep yourself and others safe.

At the Ercolani Law Group, we represent individuals who have been hurt or lost a loved one in car accidents throughout the state. We are dedicated, experienced lawyers who have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. If you were involved in an auto or truck accident on a California roadway, contact our office at (805) 338-6880 for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Tips for Safe Driving in California

The vast majority of accidents are caused by operator negligence or wrongdoing; they are also preventable. By following the rules of the road and preparing ahead for your trip, you can avoid dangerous situations on the state’s highways, streets, and intersections.

Follow these tips for safe driving in Thousand Oaks and throughout California:

Never Drive Under the Influence 

In California, it is unlawful to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. A person is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher, but you can still be arrested for a DUI if your blood alcohol level was under that threshold. 

Impaired drivers kill thousands of people in the United States each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 10,142 deaths from drunk driving in 2019, equivalent to one person dying every 52 minutes.

Pay Attention to the Road

Along with impairment, driver inattention is a leading cause of car accidents in California. It is essential to stay alert while operating a motor vehicle regardless of whether you are on an endless stretch of two-lane highway or sitting at a stoplight near a busy intersection.

Driver inattention may be caused by:

  • Texting
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Emailing
  • Using a GPS device
  • Chatting with passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Changing radio stations
  • Checking out the view

Texting is one of the most common activities done while driving. According to NHTSA, reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. If you are going 55 mph, it is like driving the distance of a football field with your eyes closed. Distracted driving is not only dangerous; it can be deadly. In 2019, over 3,000 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver. 

Drive the Speed Limit (And Safe for Road and Traffic Conditions)

During rush hour, you may be lucky to get up to a slow crawl; otherwise, you will probably be stuck behind red lights. Not all California traffic is this bad, though. There are roads that seem to stretch forever without another car in sight. 

It is crucial to drive the speed limit regardless of the type of road you are on. In some cases, the speed limit may not be safe because of road or weather conditions. During inclement weather, it is important to adjust your speed accordingly.

California Car Accident Statistics

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) keeps records of the number of people injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents in the state. Tragically, thousands of people are killed in preventable accidents on California roads each year.

According to the most recent data from the California OTS:

  • There were 3,606 traffic fatalities in 2019;
  • The mileage death rate for that year was 1.06 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled;
  • There were 1,066 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities;
  • 50% of all drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes who were tested for drugs tested positive;
  • There were 972 pedestrian fatalities; and
  • There were 133 bicycle fatalities in 2019.

In addition to these deaths, tens of thousands of people were injured in car collisions. If you were injured in a car crash caused by another person’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact the Ercolani Law Group to speak directly with a car accident lawyer about filing a claim for damages.

California Truck Accident Statistics

California is a major transportation, playing a critical role in the supply chain. From the ports of Long Beach to the manufacturing buildings throughout the Inland Empire, large commercial trucks are notable on the state’s highways and city streets. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) keeps records of truck-involved collisions.

According to the most recent data available from the CHP:

  • There were 327 fatal truck crashes in California;
  • And 6,897 truck accidents resulting in injuries;
  • October was the deadliest month for truck accidents in the state;
  • Unsafe speed was the primary crash factor where the truck driver was found to be at fault; and
  • Truck accidents accounted for 9.1% of all fatal accidents in a single year.

Accidents involving large trucks like 18-wheelers and semi-trucks are rarely minor. Many result in serious injury or death. If you are involved in a truck accident, it is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.

What to Do If You Lose a Loved One in a Car Accident

Fatalities are a devastating reality on California roads. Thousands of people needlessly lose their lives each year because of another driver’s negligence. If you have experienced the unimaginable loss of your loved one in a car or truck accident, the person responsible must be held accountable. 

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit can help provide financially for you and your family after a sudden, unexpected loss. 

Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation

If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident, contact our office for a free consultation at (805) 338-6880. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve!

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Timing is Everything.

Do not delay in addressing your legal concerns. If your situation has gotten out of hand, contact a Ventura County lawyer at the Ercolani Law Group to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

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