Traffic safety is a top concern for all California drivers. Every year, hundreds of people are killed, and thousands more are injured in traffic accidents on California roads. While some of these accidents are unavoidable, they are preventable if drivers follow some simple safety tips. When driving in California, it’s important to be aware of the state’s unique laws and regulations to stay safe on the road.
1. Be Cautious at Carwashes
California had more car washes than any other state and the highest total car wash sales, $1.6 billion, in 2017. Awareness of the dangers of driving in and around car washes is important. Carwashes often have wet floors, making your car slip and slide. Slow down and be careful when driving through a carwash. Additionally, do not leave your car unattended in the car wash. If you must step away for any reason, put your car in park and turn off the engine. Remember to watch out for pedestrians. Carwashes are often located in busy areas, and pedestrians can sometimes walk into the path of oncoming traffic.
2. Follow the Rules of the Road
California law requires you to use your turn signals when making a turn or changing lanes. This lets other drivers know what you are doing and helps prevent accidents. When two vehicles arrive at an intersection simultaneously, the driver who arrived first has the right-of-way. However, it is always courteous to yield the right-of-way to other drivers, especially if they are elderly or have young children. Tailgating is when one vehicle follows another too closely. This is dangerous because it does not give the driver enough time to brake if necessary. It is important to leave a safe following distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
3. Don’t Drive Under The Influence
1.8% of California’s 26+ million licensed drivers admit to driving after drinking too much. Don’t be one of them. Always plan by designating a sober driver or taking public transportation. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in California and can result in a DUI conviction. This serious offense can lead to jail time, a loss of driving privileges, and high insurance rates. Make driving while sober your lifestyle. Call a taxi or Uber to get home safely if you must drink.
4. Avoid Using Your Phone
Texting while driving is illegal in California. This is because it takes a driver’s attention away from the road, leading to accidents. If you must text, pull over to a safe location first. Furthermore, talking on the phone while driving is distracting and can lead to accidents. If you must talk on the phone, use a hands-free device.
5. Stay Cool
Nearly 90% of homes used air conditioning during the 2020 pandemic summer. It is important to stay cool when driving because it can help you stay alert and focused on the road. California is relatively hot, so keeping the car’s air conditioning on helps keep you cool and reduces fatigue. Ensure the car’s air conditioning system is in working condition. If you do not have air conditioning in your car, consider opening the windows. However, be sure to drive slowly and carefully if you do this to prevent debris from flying into the vehicle.
California is a gorgeous state with plenty to do. However, it’s always important to keep safety at the forefront, especially when driving in a busy city. Follow these tips next time you’re driving in Cali and you and your loved ones will feel much safer.