Cars are convenient vehicles. They are great for hanging out and going on long trips without having to rely on public transportation. They’re also pretty handy during the rain. But all that depends on the person behind the wheel.
A statistic says that over 35,000 people lost their lives due to car accidents in 2020. Then there’s another horrifying statistic. Drunk drivers were responsible for 13,695 fatalities. Numbers like this make the US roads a scary place to drive.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important to stay calm. After a serious car accident, many victims start panicking. They either drive away from the scene of the accident or don’t collect the other driver’s information. This can have serious consequences when you’re filing a car accident claim.
Prevention is better than cure. Instead of worrying about what to do after an accident, it’s better to be a safe driver. This article highlights some of the important duties a car driver must follow to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road.
All car drivers are expected to drive in a way that doesn’t cause harm to the occupants of the car, other drivers, or pedestrians.
Duty to Drive at a Reasonable Speed
All drivers are legally obliged to drive at the posted speed limits. Each road has a specific speed limit that the local authorities think is safe. Going above the speed limit can get you a speeding ticket. This can be even just 1 mph over the mentioned speed limit.
Then there’s the concept of going below the speed limit. The legality of it varies from state to state. Now, going a few mph below the speed limit isn’t a crime. But if you’re driving too slowly to the extent of obstructing traffic, then you have committed a crime.
Duty to Maintain their Vehicle
Roads are shared spaces. This means that one small hiccup will affect the others as well, directly or indirectly.
To avoid this, it is important to make sure your car is in top condition at all times. Basic car maintenance will go a long way in not just improving the life of your car but also ensuring that you don’t face issues while the vehicle is in motion.
Something as simple as proper inflation levels, checking for proper tire wear, inspecting brake fluids, and frequent oil changes go a long way towards having a safe ride.
Duty to be Aware at All Times
Every driver has the duty to be aware of all the possible hazards on the road. A driver who is aware knows about the hazards on the road and the hazards that may arise unexpectedly. This can be from other drivers or pedestrians.
Being aware is an aspect of negligence. In a car accident case, the fact finder usually looks for the at-fault driver’s actions or lack of actions when checking for liability.
In general, a car driver must be aware of
- Side streets
- Construction zones
- School zones
- Road signs
- Other vehicles
Duty to Be in Control of the Vehicle
Car drivers have the responsibility to be in control of their cars at all times. This includes driving at optimal speeds and taking the necessary precautions to stop or drive carefully during inclement weather.
Duty to Follow the State Laws
Each state comes with its own set of laws that car drivers must follow. Breaking the local law often results in serious consequences. In simple terms, following state laws includes
- Not driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Following the state’s right-of-way laws
- Driving on the right side of the road
- Wearing seat belts
- Having valid auto insurance
- Yielding way to emergency vehicles
- Stopping for school buses dropping off children
- Staying right on multi-lane highways
- Not using cell phones
It’s important for drivers to practice safe driving methods. This ensures their safety and that of everyone around them.
Following your state’s local traffic laws is the only way to beat the accident menace. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident, you must consult an experienced lawyer to find out how to receive fair compensation.