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Car Accident Safety: What Are the Golden Rules of Defensive Driving?

Guy fastening the safety belt.

It is easy to forget about the dangers of driving because we do it so often. However, car accidents are incredibly common. According to the most recent data from the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 50,000 crashes per year. Many of these accidents result in serious injury. Thus, it is important that all motorists take the steps necessary to stay safe while on the road.

If you are like most drivers, you may be thinking, “As long as I pay attention, do not drink and drive, and follow all traffic laws, I should be okay, right?” Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case. Many Oregon car accidents are the result of another driver’s negligence. And depending on the circumstances, you may not always be able to avoid a collision. However, by following the Golden Rules of Defensive Driving, you can decrease the chance of an accident and increase your chance of surviving those unavoidable collisions without suffering serious, lifelong injuries.

The Golden Rules of Defensive Driving are hardly a mystery; they are the basic car accident safety precautions all drivers are taught in driver’s education.

Slow Down

Speeding is a leading cause of preventable car accidents. Speeding is not just about following the speed limit. In a state like Oregon, where it rains so frequently, it is also important to adjust your speed according to the weather conditions. Speed limits assume ideal road conditions. When it is foggy or raining or the road conditions are compromised, you should slow down to a safe speed—even if it is below the posted speed limit.

Chill Out

Sharing the road with an aggressive driver is not only annoying, but it is also incredibly dangerous. Aggressive drivers frequently change lanes, cut in and out of traffic, speed, do not t use turn signals, and make erratic and unpredictable maneuvers. For others on the road, it becomes almost impossible to anticipate what an aggressive driver is going to do, increasing the chance of a collision.

Pay Attention

Driving a car is a major responsibility and requires a driver’s full attention. However, distracted driving is extremely common, especially today, with the prevalence of cell phones. A shocking 14% of all Oregon car accidents involve a distracted driver. Doing things like texting, talking on the phone, dealing with children in the back seat, scrolling social media, or eating all take a driver’s attention away from the road. Even a split-second distraction can mean a driver misses a changing traffic light or merging vehicle, which may lead to an accident.

Stay Sober

It should go without saying, but drinking and driving do not mix. When a driver consumes alcohol, it impairs their decision-making skills and increases their reaction time. Drunk drivers are also more likely to speed, drive aggressively, or fall asleep behind the wheel. Not only is drunk driving illegal, but it can be the basis of an Oregon personal injury lawsuit.

Wear Your Seatbelt

Buckling your seatbelt takes less than two seconds, and is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself when riding in a car. Yet roughly 10% of all drivers and passengers report not regularly wearing a seatbelt. Failing to wear a seatbelt in Oregon will not preclude you from bringing a case against an at-fault driver, but it can reduce the amount of compensation you receive.

Pull Over If You Need To

Drowsy driving is another common cause of Oregon car accidents. Most often, the topic of drowsy driving comes up in the context of truck accidents. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road and are paid by the mile. Thus, they have an incentive to cover as much distance as possible per day. However, given the fact that many people work two jobs and have multiple responsibilities, everyday drivers also experience fatigue while behind the wheel. When a driver senses that their ability to operate a vehicle is not what it should be because they are too tired, they should pull over and take a break.

Follow the Rules

We have traffic laws for a reason, and it is imperative that all drivers follow them. Motorists rely on others around them to act in a predictable manner. When a driver runs a red light, fails to yield the right-of-way, or does not stop at a stop sign, they put everyone else on the road at risk.

Of course, sometimes, despite taking every possible precaution, an accident is unavoidable. If you suffered injuries in an Oregon car accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. If successful, you can recover compensation for your accident-related expenses, including your medical expenses, lost wages and decrease in earning capacity. You may also obtain money damages for any pain and suffering you endured due to the accident.

Contact an Experienced Oregon Car Accident Law Firm for Immediate Assistance

If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a car accident, reach out to the D’Amore Law Group. The D’Amore Law Group is a team of skilled Oregon auto vehicle accident lawyers representing accident victims across the state. Since 1994, our legal team has recovered significant compensation on behalf of countless injury victims, allowing them to begin moving on with their lives after a serious accident. We will provide you with a free consultation in which we will answer all your questions and explain the recovery process in clear terms. That way, you can make the decision that is best for you and your family. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Oregon auto vehicle accident attorneys, give us a call, or you can reach us through our online form.

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