Driving dangers: Watch out for these risks

You head to work every day of the week, and you know that you have to take highways, residential roads and other streets to get there. Where are you most at risk of being involved in a collision? At what time of day are you most at risk? How can you avoid an accident? These are great questions that deserve an answer. Here are a few facts about accidents in the United States and California.

1. You face the highest risk of an accident close to home

Do you know the feeling you get when you see your neighborhood? The joy you have of nearly being at your destination can actually make you less attentive and put you at a higher risk of an accident. It's also possible that those driving long distances may be drowsy at this point, and since they're in familiar territory, they let their guard down.

When you drive in a familiar place, you rely on your memories of the place instead of actively looking for hazards. Remember, even roads in your neighborhood can change.

2. Accidents happen at all times of the day, but rush hour is worst

(Rush hour is the time between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.) You probably assumed this, because this is when most people are rushing from work or going home from school. What you may not know is the time between 6 p.m. and midnight is highly dangerous, too. The sunset adds glare and blinds drivers, and dusk makes it harder to see.

3. There are ways to avoid accidents

You can avoid accidents by making sure you never get behind the wheel when you're tired. Drowsy driving is particularly dangerous when you're in a familiar area. Also remember to stay vigilant. Even though you know the area, you need to pay attention and recognize new hazards as they crop up. There could be a pot hole, or maybe a new business opened and has caused extra congestion on the roads.

Never get into a vehicle when you're intoxicated. Put down your phone, too. Technology is helpful, but it also takes your mind off the road. You need to keep your full attention on the road at all times.

If you are hurt in an accident because another driver was texting, using a cellphone or intoxicated at the time, you're a victim of negligence. It's important that you have the chance to speak out and get the compensation you need. The right compensation can help you recovery without worrying about money.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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