California is home to some of the busiest highways in the United States, and this also means there are a significant amount of car accidents and related injuries every day. If you are one of these drivers on state freeways, it’s important to take steps to minimize the likelihood of being involved in a collision. Consider the following safety tips before commuting on California’s interstate system to help you avoid accidents:

Always Buckle Up First

We hear these words and see them everywhere, but there are still drivers who don’t take the risk of a potential car accident seriously. Before you jump in your car to commute to work, make sure you and any other riders with you buckle up.

Forget About Your Cell Phone

When you hear that familiar bing of a favorite social media messenger, you may want to glance at it quickly while the flow of traffic is slow. Cars all around you can change direction and speed in the blink of an eye, and taking your eyes off of the road can end in deadly results. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode to remove the temptation of checking messages while you are on the highway.

Drive Defensively

To drive defensively, you must pay attention to other drivers around you so you can anticipate their driving maneuvers and react accordingly. Plan ahead for drivers trying to cut you off and look out for aggressive behaviors like tailgating so you can increase space between you and the other car. 

Leave Room for Sudden Stops

A major mistake while driving on California’s interstates and roadways is following too closely to other vehicles. Failing to leave room for sudden stops can endanger the lives of you and others on the road with you. 

Show Consideration for Semi-Trucks

Tractor-trailer trucks are a common sight on interstates all over the United States, and it’s good practice to show consideration when driving near one. One good piece of advice is keeping a good distance from the truck so that you are not in the driver’s blind spot. If you must overtake them, make sure to allow plenty of space and use a signal. Trucks of this size cannot stop on a dime and need additional time to come to a sudden stop. 

Only Use the Left Lane for Passing

To avoid disrupting the flow of traffic, it is best to stay left when you intend to pass a vehicle going more slowly. Using the left lane and forcing faster vehicles to make dangerous maneuvers can lead to devastating pile-up accidents that can involve numerous drivers and passengers. These are catastrophic events and can cause serious injury or even death. 

Accelerate When Merging

When coming onto the highway from an on-ramp, make sure you are traveling close to the same speed as the roadway you are merging. This step prevents vehicles already on that section of the road from having to suddenly switch lanes or suddenly slow, which could cause a major accident.

Use Caution When Exiting Your Car After a Crash

Anytime you are in an accident on a California interstate, use extreme caution if you exit your vehicle. You risk potentially getting hit by another vehicle that is trying to avoid the wreck. If you can, pull off the roadway before attempting to exit the vehicle.

Stay Calm

Everyone experiences frustration when driving in heavy traffic, but letting your anger get the best of you in response to someone’s poor driving is risky. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 33% of accidents caused by driver mistakes are a result of aggressive behaviors like illegal maneuvers or misinterpreting the intent of a driver’s actions behind the wheel. 

Pay Attention to Your Speed

Be aware of how fast you are driving on California interstates as speeding is one of the leading causes behind accident fatalities. Regardless of how far you’re running behind, it’s better to be late than suffer catastrophic injuries or endanger others on the road. 

Keep the Weather in Mind

Mother nature can turn a sunny California cruise to the park into a dangerous thunderstorm in the blink of an eye. Always keep the weather in mind and adjust your driving technique to match so you can avoid dangerous hydroplaning or rear-ending another vehicle because of poor visibility.

Consult a Skilled California Accident Attorney

No matter how careful you may be, you can’t control others around you and may find yourself in an accident on one of California’s interstates. State law allows injured victims to pursue compensation from the at-fault party for your damages. This could include the cost of medical care associated with your recovery, lost income, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries and damage to your vehicle after a collision, it is best to seek counsel from a skilled personal injury lawyer. At Setareh Law, our team provides unmatched legal representation for plaintiffs across California. We will evaluate the facts of your case, discuss what avenues for compensation are available to you, and serve as your counsel throughout the personal injury claims process. As recognized SuperLawyers, you can count on our high-quality support staff to represent your best interests every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted attorneys, complete an online contact form or call today at (310) 659-1826.