Knowing the “Zones”: 3 Common Car Accidents and How You Can Avoid Them
At Sessums Law Group, we see our fair share of vehicular accident victims come through our doors. We evaluate each case and each client carefully to make sure we are offering them the absolute best counsel and representation possible. Over time, we have noticed several trends in the cases of automobile collisions, specifically a trend in where/when these accidents occur.
So, what are some “zones” you should be aware of when you are behind the wheel?
Your Own Neighborhood
Did you know that the majority of car accidents occur close to home, often within a radius of just a few miles? Shockingly, there are a high number of auto accidents within drivers’ own neighborhoods. These are usually cases of backing out of one’s driveway into the path of an oncoming car, colliding with a parked car (most often, one parked alongside the road), or even failing to stop at a stop sign. Some drivers don’t pay attention to neighborhood signs altogether, since drivers feel they aren’t yet on the “main” roads.
Avoid these accidents by making sure you are aware and driving at your best from the moment you start your car and pull out of your garage. Also, stay alert to the drivers around you. Just because you are practicing safe driving doesn’t mean your neighbors are!
Your Daily Commute
People who commute to work, especially a distance of 30 miles or more, tend to have a higher chance of being involved in a car accident. Since these drivers spend excess amounts of time on the roads, it only makes sense that they would be at an increased risk for a collision. However, there are measures commuters can take to protect themselves, and those around them.
First, keep in mind that many commuter traffic accidents happen due to fatigue and/or lack of attention on the part of the driver at fault. Do yourself and your fellow commuters a favor and don’t drive while overly tired or otherwise distracted. Do your best to get plenty of rest each night before your commute. If you notice yourself getting drowsy on your ride home, pull off the road for a break. A bathroom break, a cup of coffee, or even just a few laps around a parking lot to get your blood pumping can make a huge difference in your alertness when making your way to or from work. Secondly, avoid as many distractions while driving as possible. Make time to eat your breakfast, make your phone calls, etc. before you leave for work, or make arrangements to take care of those things after you arrive. Eating, talking on the phone, glancing at last minute papers, etc. while driving is a surefire way to end up in a collision, and you would be counted at fault. Nothing is worth that risk.
We realize this sounds a bit odd, but parking lots are actually a very common site for car accidents. This is due to incidents such as people failing to pay attention when backing out of a parking spot, failing to stop at designated points in a parking lot, or driving across the parking lot instead of following the pre-set “lanes” or arrows painted to direct traffic.
When driving through a parking lot, always follow the markings on the ground to determine how you should get around and out of the space. Going against these markings, or ignoring them altogether, can be disastrous and if you are the one “going against the grain”, you will be held liable for any accidents that might occur. It’s also important to remember to be on high alert for pedestrians (especially young children) and for vehicles backing out of spaces in front of you. Just because they might have backed out more quickly than you expect, you can still be held liable in some circumstances. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
We hope you’ll keep these tips in mind the next time you start your engine and hit the road. If you find yourself in an unexpected situation facing the ramifications of a car accident in the greater Lakeland or Sebring area, give us a call. Remember, at Sessums Law Group, we stand for YOU!