As car accident attorneys, one of our responsibilities is to educate you on how safe driving techniques can prevent car accidents before they happen. One wrong driver mistake can lead to a car accident that causes the personal injury or wrongful death of you or a loved one, not to mention property damage. Here are some easy tips that can prevent personal injuries or wrongful death in car crashes.
(There is a printable version of this car safety checklist at the bottom of this page.)
1. Is your car properly insured?
If you own a car, you should know that 47 states REQUIRE car insurance for all drivers. Having the proper car insurance policy will help you take care of any medical bills or property damage should you get in a car accident.
2. Check your fluids.
You should always be aware of how much gasoline is in your car. If you run out of gas on a long trip and are on a busy freeway with cars traveling at high speeds you may get into a car accident. Another important fluid to monitor is oil. Oil is what keeps your engine parts lubricated and prevents friction. Friction and heat can cause the engine to shut off unexpectedly. If the engine fails at the wrong time, a car accident can happen causing personal injury or wrongful death.
3. Check the air pressure & wear on your tires.
There are two aspects of car tires that you should be mindful of: air pressure and wear. Underinflated tires are a leading cause of tire blowouts – a major cause of auto accidents. The recommended tire pressure for your car can be found on a sticker on the inside of the driver door.
A tire’s age can also lead to car accidents, but many people do not know how to check the age of their tires. Every tire is required to have a 10 to 12 digit Department of Transportation number. The last four numbers of the tire display the age. For instance, if the last four numbers of a tire’s DOT number is “3904”, the tire was made in the 39th week of 2004.
4. Check your mirrors.
As a car driver, your best view is what is directly in front of you. Unfortunately, there is more to driving than knowing what is directly in front of you. You should always be mindful of what is beside and behind you. Side-view and rear-view mirrors help you to see around your car. In order for the mirrors to be effective, however, they need to be set at the right positions for each driver. So when a car leaves your rear-view mirror, it should then become visible in your side view mirror, and vice versa. If you are not sure, try practicing in a parking lot to get the right angles. This way, you can make sure you see everything and hopefully prevent car accidents.
5. Check your warning lights.
When you start your car, lights in the dashboard light up if there are problems. If your check engine light comes on, go to your local mechanic as soon as possible. An engine malfunction can cause a car accident if the engine fails at the wrong time (i.e. on a busy freeway or in the middle of an intersection). An airbag light should never stay on because if it does, your air bag may not deploy in a car accident.
6. Apply car restraints.
There are two types of restraints you need to use when getting in a car.
First, everyone in your car should wear a seat belt. In fact, all 50 states require passengers and drivers to wear seat belts when they are in the car. Wearing seat belts and using child safety seats can reduce the risk of personal injury or wrongful death in a car accident.
The second is the child safety seat (if you have children). Children from birth to age 8 need to be in a child car seat.
7. Are you under the influence of anything?
Before you get in your car, you should not have had anything to drink or taken any drugs (legal or illegal). Alcohol and drugs reduce ability to drive by reducing your reflexes. Driving with any of these things in your system can lead to a car accident that causes personal injury or wrongful death.
8. Call our lawyers if you’re injured in an accident.
As car accident lawyers, we do what is necessary when a car crash occurs that causes personal injury or wrongful death. However, we also take steps in educating drivers on how to prevent personal injury or wrongful death before car accidents happen. Taking the time to inspect your car for possible hazards now can prevent car accidents in the future.
Call our San Diego law firm now at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident attorney or click here to submit your case for a FREE online review. We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish.