Safety tips for Orange County drivers and pedestrians should regularly be practiced to avoid injury or even tragedy. Sadly, according to the Los Angeles Times and based on data collected by the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2015, California leads the nation in the number of pedestrian deaths. As every driver and pedestrian in Orange County knows from firsthand experience, the streets are congested and safety is an ever-present concern. But by making habits of good practices, drivers and pedestrians can be more safe as they commute.
Safety Tips for Orange County Drivers and Pedestrians
Unfortunately, traffic accidents in Orange County involve cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. With such a dense population and so many distractions competing for our attention, it's little wonder why so many collisions occur. Distracted driving, driving under the influence, walking against traffic signals, little to no use of directional signals, media consumption, and more behaviors are seen on the streets every day.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but there's one that all road users share -- everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2013, totaling 4,735 deaths. --U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Even though safety standards and technologies have improved greatly over the years, minor to severe injuries and deaths still occur regularly. Drivers and pedestrians alike can use some basic tips to improve their chances of not being involved in accidents.
Safety Tips for Orange County Drivers
In today's vehicles, comfort, entertainment, and information are all intertwined. Auto manufacturers compete on a very high level to sell more cars. Unfortunately, these forms of comfort, entertainment, and information can cause dangerous situations. New technology found in vehicles can make us safer, but it can also create more distractions. Drivers must stay alert and in-control at all times and should follow these safety tips:
- Don't drive under the influence -- ever. There's never a reason to drive under the influence of any substance and it's just not worth taking the risk harming yourself or another. Driving under the influence plays with lives and can wreak havoc on you or someone in the event of a collision.
- Do not exceed the speed limit. Speeding increases the amount of damage to you, your vehicle and anything you hit during an accident. Be safer by driving the speed limit.
- Do not become distracted. Distractions are wide-ranging to drivers which include eating, drinking, changing music, setting GPS, texting, talking, and having children in the car or just about anything else you can think of. It's important to stay focused on the road and the task of driving.
- Try to avoid driving in bad weather. If possible, do not drive during inclement weather, there are too many additional risk factors which make driving more hazardous.
- Use basic safe driving protocols. Remember to use your directional signal, do not tailgate, follow all traffic signals and laws, and practice defensive driving. By doing so, you are creating a less-hazardous driving environment.
Furthermore, remember to keep your vehicle maintenance schedule up-to-date, including tire pressure. Also, by law, you and all passengers need to be wearing seat belts. What's more, any young children should be in appropriate car or booster seats at all times during travel.
Safety Tips for Orange County Pedestrians
Just like drivers, pedestrians are responsible for being good travelers, must exercise good judgment and believe drivers are always aware and in-control. Pedestrians are sharing the road with heavy and fast moving vehicles and must walk cautiously. Pedestrians should follow these safety tips when walking on sidewalks or along streets:
- Only cross at crosswalks. One of the biggest reasons pedestrians are struck by drivers is not utilizing crosswalks. Crosswalks are predictable and drivers are not surprised to see pedestrians using them. But if a pedestrian darts out and jaywalks, it can create a dangerous situation for both the pedestrian and drivers.
- Follow traffic signals. As you would when you are behind the wheel, follow all traffic signals.
- Make eye contact with each driver. When you do cross a street, be sure to make eye contact with each driver.
- Be seen and predictable. Do not jump or walk into the street, always be in full view and act in a way that's predictable. It's important not to startle a driver because that driver may react in a way that could cause him or her to lose control of the vehicle and people could get hurt.
- Do not be distracted. Increasingly, pedestrians are injured or killed as a result of being distracted by media, children, and more while walking. Paying attention to surroundings is even more important because pedestrians do not have the protection of a vehicle in the event of an accident.
And, of course, always look both ways before crossing the street, but do this more than once. Look left first because that's the lane closest to you and then look both ways before you walk, at the halfway point, and then again, just before you step out of the crosswalk. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or as a pedestrian in Orange County, contact Vititoe Law Group and consult with once of our experienced attorneys as soon as possible to learn about your legal options and the possibility of compensation. Act immediately because the law limits the time you have to act.