Be well-rested and alert each time you get behind the wheel
In California alone, drowsy driving caused 1,404 wrongful deaths in 2007.
Never drive after consuming alcohol, illegal drugs or medications that cause drowsiness
Drunk drivers and drivers that drove under the influence (DUI) of drugs (prescription and illegal) were together the fourth highest cause of California's auto accidents in 2007.
Always wear a seatbelt and require passengers to buckle up too
It is well documented that wearing a seat belt can save your life, and you are required by law to wear a seat belt in California.
Obey all traffic safety laws
Do not speed, run red lights, or ignore any stop signs -- each of those are the top causes of auto accidents.
Slow down in bad weather conditions
The maximum posted speed limit should only be followed in perfect driving conditions. When weather conditions dictate caution (i.e. rain, snow, high wind, or ice), you are required to drive slower.
Avoid distractions that divert your attention from the road
This includes talking on the cell phone, sending text messages, browsing the internet, or even paying too much attention to other passengers.
Do not eat or drink while driving a car
This is another driver distraction that could lead to an auto accident. It is safest to eat while your car is parked.
Do not overload your vehicle with passengers
There are two reasons for this: (1) More passengers equals more distractions for the driver; (2) Your passengers all need to be buckled up on their seat belts to maximize their safety in the event of an auto accident.
Drive safely and defensively at all times
If you are aware of the other automobiles on the road, you can react appropriately to any sudden turn or miscalculation by another driver. Defensive driving saves lives, and we recommend that you make that your main driving strategy.
Do not provoke road rage in other drivers
This goes along with defensive driving. Road rage is when an angry driver intentionally causes a car accident or drives aggressively towards another driver. You can stop road rage before it begins by never tailgating and needlessly cutting off other drivers on the road. If you are courteous and wave to other drivers, you will likely avoid a road rage incident.
Do not open your window for any stranger
This is how car jackings happen. If someone does try to steal your car with you inside, it is best to listen to your attacker. Wrongful death happens when drivers try to fight back against a car jack. While no one ever wants someone to steal their car, you cannot buy another life after a wrongful death.
Keep the doors locked on your car
This will help prevent someone from easily breaking into your car. Locking your doors while driving can prevent anyone from falling out of the car and a car jacker from getting in the car.
Only individuals listed on your insurance should drive your automobile
This will help in case of an automobile accident. If you let someone drive your car that is not listed on your car insurance, you can be held liable for any damages they cause in an auto accident.
Keep a list of emergency contact numbers readily available
Emergencies happen, but preparation can be a big help when you need it most. By having a list of emergency contact information in your glove box, you can help rescue workers contact your loved ones.
Carry a road map, a flashlight, and extra batteries at all time
One of the things all drivers have to look forward to is getting lost while driving. Even if you have GPS, some remote areas do not get reception and a map can help you find your way. Having a flashlight and extra batteries will help you see in the dark.
Have your auto mechanic give your car a full safety inspection one week before a long trip
While an annual tune up should have your car in solid working order, you should still take your car to the auto mechanic before a long car trip. You do not want an engine breakdown or car design defect to lead to an auto accident or wrongful death when you are far from home.
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