At Los Angeles City Law, we want nothing more than for the people of Los Angeles to be safe. Sadly, accidents happen, and in those instances, we want to help you with any legal needs that you may have. Automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle and pedestrian-related accidents are just a few of the areas of practice that we focus on, but we are here to provide you with a wide variety of personal injury-related legal needs. For all your personal injury related legal needs, contact Los Angeles City Law today.
Driving safely is something that affects us all. Even if we’re not motorists or car owners ourselves, we’ve all been a passenger or pedestrian, and if people don’t practice safe driving habits, they not only put themselves in danger of being hurt, they also put the people around them in danger as well, including other passengers in their vehicle, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians. While we are always here for all of your legal needs, the last thing we want is for anyone to be hurt. In this blog, we will look at a few simple and easy ways to ensure safe driving that’s not only safe for you, but for everyone around you as well.
Obey The Speed Limit
One of the first things they teach us in traffic school is to obey the speed limit. Once we start driving, however, we tend to get a little bit cocky and think that we can push the speed limit. While it’s rare for an officer to pull you over for going just slightly over the speed limit (give or take five miles per hour), technically any instance of speeding can put you in danger of being pulled over and/or fined for the offense. Pay attention to the signs posted that display the speed limit, so as to avoid unintended speeding, as not being aware of the speed limit is no excuse to make up your own.
Beyond that, though, think about a hypothetical instance in which you may be speeding. Say the posted speed limit is 55 and you’re going 75. While this may not at the time seem like it could put you in danger, do you think you could be able to slow down in time if there were a traffic jam? You may very well not be able to brake quickly enough and rear end the vehicle in front of you. While it may seem like a good and perfectly safe idea when you’re driving, speeding isn’t a good idea, especially in cities like Los Angeles where the traffic conditions could change at any moment. In theory, you may get to where you need to be faster, but the risk of possibly never arriving at all far outweighs that. Be safe and obey the posted speed limit.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Another simple rule that we’re told from the time we start driver’s ed, wearing a seatbelt is something that in many cases gets commonly overlooked by both drivers and passengers alike. You can drive as safely and defensively as you like, but you cannot drive for others on the road, and if you were to get into an accident, wearing your seatbelt can easily save your life. It’s a simple rule but an important one-buckle up before going anywhere, and make sure all passengers do the same as well.
Get Off Of Your Phone
Aside from the risk that being on your phone while attempting to drive (and in Los Angeles traffic, for that matter) already poses to your safety, were you aware of the laws in California that pertain to cell phone usage while driving? As of 2017, the law identified as AB 1785 states that drivers are no longer allowed to be holding their phones while driving. Previously, there were laws that made it illegal to text while driving, but doing other things while driving were technically still considered to be legal. Now, in the state of California, holding your phone in any capacity is considered an illegal and punishable offense. Having your phone in your hand is easy to spot, and if you’re caught doing so by a police officer, you can legally be pulled over and fined, with the amount increasing for each subsequent offense. Quite simply, paying attention to your phone while also trying to drive is just irresponsible, and doing so is far more dangerous than you may realize. You can text later, you can check your apps later. Get to where you’re going or pull over if need be.
Know Where You’re Going
One of the many things that causes car accidents is a general unfamiliarity with the area in which you are driving. While it may not always be possible to get a feel for your destination prior to driving there, there are ways to ensure that you will stay on the right path and not get lost. The best option for not getting lost is using a GPS navigation system. While you can invest in a high quality GPS navigator for your car for relatively inexpensively, there are plenty of great free apps that you can download on your smartphone. We know what you’re thinking – didn’t you just get done talking about how using your cell phone while driving is dangerous? Of course, but there is a way to do this that is both safe and effective. Getting a mount for your cell phone will allow you to use the phone without your hands and, more importantly, without having to check the screen while driving. Punch in the address of your destination before getting on the road and let the GPS take you where you need to go safely.
Have Items Within Reach
While your main goal when getting behind the wheel should simply be to get to your destination, sometimes there are things we need while driving, be it a beverage, lip balm, money for tolls or otherwise. While in theory all these items can be used safely without distracting us from the task at hand, fumbling around our car trying to find them while driving can certainly put us at risk of being in danger. Before going anywhere, make sure that the items you need are within reach so that you can drive safely and comfortably.
Do Not Drive Under the Influence
This is something that we’ve covered in a previous blog, and while it may come to many of you as obvious, people tend to think differently about the matter when they are in the moment itself. Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol can cloud one’s judgment, making them feel as though they are in better, more stable shape than they actually are. Don’t risk it – if you’ve been intoxicated in any capacity, have someone sober drive you home or hire a ridesharing service or taxi to do the same.
By following those few steps, you will be well on your way to driving safer, putting both yourself and those around you in a far safer environment. At Los Angeles City Law, we are here to help you with all and any personal injury related legal needs that you may have. Contact us today!