Driving is such a common experience in America that many people often don’t stop to consider what is required of them as drivers. Sure, we took driver’s ed., but for most people that was years, even decades, ago in high school. The reality of human psychology is that the more we become familiar with something, the less attention we will tend to give to it. For example, who hasn’t suddenly realized they had sort of “spaced out” while they’re driving and can’t really identify anything specific about a few minutes before regaining awareness? And unfortunately, some sources indicated that over 50% of car accidents occur within 5 miles of a person’s home, and nearly 70% of accidents occur within 10 miles of home.

It may seem simple, yet it bears reminding that a person is responsible for using reasonable care while driving. Drivers must maintain awareness of their surroundings, looking out for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles. “The driver of an automobile is bound to use reasonable care to anticipate the presence on the highway of others who have equal right to be there and the fact that [the driver’s] vision is temporarily interfered with, either by the glaring sun or headlights, does not relieve him from that duty.” (Hill v. Peres (1934) 136 Cal.App. 132, 137.) Drivers must also control the speed and movement of their cars in a way that avoids collisions. “[A] driver must at all times exercise ordinary care to avoid a collision including swerving or altering his course, in addition to applying his brakes, if that would be a reasonable means of avoiding the collision.” (Guyton v. City of Los Angeles (1959) 174 Cal.App.2d 354, 362.) A failure to use such care while driving is negligence.

For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, remember that your car is a dangerous machine. While driving, take reasonable steps to protect yourself and any other passengers in your car. As you do your part, there will be less chance of being involved in a serious accident. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, sometimes the negligence of others will still affect us. If you are in an accident involving a serious personal injury, or even a wrongful death, an aggressive personal injury attorney will be one of your best assets. They will fight the hard fight to make sure the at-fault driver’s insurance pays what they should in your case. Contact the Ledger Law Firm in Newport Beach with a team of lawyers who bring over 100 years of collective legal experience, and you will get the strongest legal argument available to hold the responsible parties accountable!