According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 116,609 motor vehicle accidents in 2015, and 36,950 resulted in injuries or fatalities. With nearly one-third of auto accidents in Arizona resulting in injuries or death, prevention and protection are vital.
Auto accidents are an unfortunate reality of life but knowing how to stay safe and take steps to protect yourself should an accident occur are important.
The first and easiest step for prevention is buckling up. Seat belts prevent fatalities and reduce injuries in an auto accident, so ensure that all passengers in your vehicle use their seat belts and stay seated, even for short distances.
When it comes to preventing serious auto accidents, defensive driving is key. You can prevent accidents by anticipating dangerous scenarios that may occur. For example, you should watch for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other cars in adjacent lanes. In more remote areas, this also means keeping an eye out for wildlife that may wander out onto the highway.
Additionally, it’s important to watch out for reckless behavior. If you notice reckless driving on the road, including excessive speed, erratic steering, or distracted driving, keep a safe distance.
When you’re driving, keep your phone out of reach. It may be tempting to reach for your phone to quickly text, answer phone calls, or select the next song, but putting your phone away is a must.
In addition, Arizona banned cell phone usage while driving this year, so not only is it dangerous, but it’s also illegal.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, seek treatment promptly. If you don’t have visible injuries or feel hurt, you should still seek medical care. Shock can cause an injury to go unnoticed, or injuries may develop later. Seeking medical care is an important part of preserving your rights after an auto accident.
Stick to the facts at the scene of an auto accident. Exchange contact information, take photographs, and communicate with the police, but ensure you don’t admit fault. Avoid common reassurances and apologies as well. For example, telling other drivers after an auto accident that “It’s okay” or “It’s no problem” could be used against you.
As mentioned above, it’s important to collect relevant information after an auto accident. Get the other drivers’ contact information, insurance information, and license plate numbers. Ensure that you’ve taken photographs at the scene.
All of this information will be important for communicating with police and insurance companies.
Don’t leave the scene of an auto accident without contacting police to evaluate the accident. A police report is an essential element in settling an auto accident case. Without officer or witness testimony, the details of your case could be subject to increased scrutiny.
Contact your auto accident attorney immediately so that they can begin work on your case and provide helpful legal advice. After an auto accident, your lawyer can work as your liaison with insurance companies, allowing you to recover stress-free and negotiate settlements without hassle.
Prevention is ideal, but protection is the next best thing after an auto accident. Ensure you follow these steps and contact your attorney. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, contact our Phoenix auto accident attorneys at Escamilla Law Group, PLLC. Call us at (623) 562-3838 for a no-obligation, free consultation and legal representation today.