An average of 254 hit-and-run fatalities happens each year in Florida, with that number only continuing to rise. Most people can’t imagine hitting another person or car with their vehicle and then fleeing the scene. Unfortunately, it happens more than you think. Protecting yourself from willful car collisions is important when you’re driving on the road. You need to think about so many things when you’re operating a car. Unfortunately, you have to worry about the other people on the road as well.
This guide will go over ways to prevent being in a car accident, especially if a negligent driver caused it. Be proactive and find ways to protect yourself and your car when you encounter negligent drivers.
Don’t Get Confrontational
If you were in a car accident and didn’t cause it, your first instinct might be to get out of your vehicle and confront the other party. In many situations, that’s not the greatest idea. The negligent driver might be under the influence, resulting in them being dangerous or aggressive.
If you can see that the other driver is behaving erratically, it’s best not to make eye contact with them or confront them. If they approach your car, stay inside and keep the doors locked. Notify the police immediately.
Watch Out for Distracted Drivers
It seems that more and more distractions get added to vehicles every year. From in-car WiFi to smart systems, plenty of things are going on inside a car to capture someone’s attention.
To protect yourself from distracted drivers, you first need to notice them. Seeing a phone in their hand or another type of distraction in their vehicle is a sure sign they’re not paying full attention to the road. You’ll notice that they’re distracted most of the time based on how the car is moving.
Look out for drivers who are:
- Erratically or needlessly changing their speed
- Going much slower or faster than the speed limit
- Unpredictably weaving throughout traffic
- Stopping longer than necessary at a stop sign or traffic light
- Not staying in their lane
The driver could be under the influence or fatigued, but they could also be distracted. If you start to notice a distracted driver, there are a few things you should do. They are:
- Keep your car as far away from them as you can
- Assume that they’re unaware of everything around them
- Try to get past them, or slow down so they can get ahead
Your goal should be to keep you and your vehicle as far away from the distracted driver as you can. You want to minimize how much risk you’re exposed to.
Be Wary of Tailgaters
We’ve all had cars that follow us so closely that we can’t see their headlights in our rearview mirror. There are a variety of reasons a person will tailgate you. They’re not necessarily important when thinking about how to protect yourself.
While you can’t control the other driver, you can reduce how much of a threat they pose to you. No matter how tempting, don’t slam on your brakes. That’s a dangerous tactic for every vehicle involved.
Take a deep breath and stay focused on driving. Check your speed to ensure you’re not driving considerably slower than the speed limit. Give them room to pass you, if needed.
If you can, pull over to the side of the road. Sometimes there’s no way to win with a tailgater. Getting out of their way is essential to protecting yourself and your car.
Watch Out for Inebriated Drivers
Drunk driving is incredibly dangerous. In addition to carrying with it all the risks that reckless drivers have, you also have to deal with a driver whose judgment is impaired. Drunk drivers show the same signs as distracted drivers.
You should respond to a drunk driver the same way as you would a distracted one. Create as much distance as you can between your vehicle and theirs.
Don’t try to stop them or get their attention by yelling or honking. Doing so will increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. Police officers and emergency service workers are trained to deal with drunk drivers.
If you can, make note of the car’s license plate, make, color, and model. Pull over and contact emergency services to report the drunk driver. Tell the dispatcher the following items:
- You want to report a drunk driver
- Describe the car
- Give the nearest cross-streets
- Describe the driver’s behavior
Once you’ve made the call, you’ve done everything you needed to. You’ve reported the driver to the proper authorities. You’ve also removed yourself out of harm’s way.
Don’t Lend Negligent Drivers Your Car
Prevention is also another way to protect yourself and others from willful car collisions. If you know someone is a reckless driver, or that they’re under the influence, don’t let them get behind the wheel. Lending someone your car puts yourself and your property at risk.
Have Car Insurance
Auto accidents do happen even if you do your best to avoid negligence on the road. Having car insurance is essential to protecting yourself financially. Your insurance company will cover medical costs, car repairs, and other items if you’re in a car accident.
Additionally, you should also have health insurance. While car insurance does cover some medical costs, health insurance will provide you with added benefits. While you can’t always avoid reckless drivers, you can protect yourself as much as possible.
NEED Help With Willful Car Collisions
Being mindful of the other drivers on the road is essential to avoiding willful car collisions. Unfortunately, car collisions do happen. It’s vital to have an experienced auto accident attorney on your side.
Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.