Did you know that everyone should know the basic rules of the road? These rules can help keep you safe while driving and can also help to prevent accidents. Below, we have listed the top 10 rules of the road that everyone should be aware of, including an interesting statistic. Keep these in mind the next time you hit the open road!
California Car Accident Statistics
According to a report done by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were over 3,847 fatalities on the road in California in 2020 alone. That's why practicing safe driving habits while on the road is important. Speeding, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic can all lead to accidents, so the next time you're behind the wheel, remember to drive safely. It could save your life or the life of someone else.
Rules of the Road
1. The Speed Law
In California, speeding is governed by what is known as the Basic Speed Law. This law states that drivers must always safely operate their vehicles and may not drive faster than is safe for current conditions.
The Basic Speed Law also requires drivers to slow down when approaching crosswalks, intersections, and other areas where pedestrians are present. Speeding fines In California are based on the severity of the infraction and the posted speed limit. In addition to speeding fines, drivers may also be required to attend traffic school or have their licenses suspended. Speeding is a serious issue, and drivers who fail to obey the Basic Speed Law put themselves and others at risk.
Intersections can be tricky to navigate, especially if unfamiliar with the area. Here are some basic rules to keep in mind when driving through an intersection:
- Always yield to oncoming traffic before turning.
- If there is no stop sign or traffic light, yield to the car that arrived first.
- Whenever possible, make eye contact with other drivers to ensure that they see you.
- Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists who may be crossing the intersection.
- Never assume that other drivers will yield to you.
By following these simple rules, you can help to make intersections safer for everyone involved.
When two lanes come together, it's important to know how to merge properly. The first step is to signal. You should put your turn signal on at least 100 feet before you start to merge. The next step is to slow down. You don't want to merge at full speed, which can be dangerous. Instead, you should match the traffic speed in your merging lane. Finally, watch for gaps—when merging, you want to find a gap in traffic that you can safely enter. Once you find a gap, move into it and turn off your turn signal.
Pedestrians have the right of way on many major roads. Cars should always yield to pedestrians when they have the right of way while crossing the street. However, if the pedestrian gets hit illegally while crossing the road, they may be liable for the accident. This is why it’s essential always to use crosswalks when available.
California seatbelt laws are designed to protect drivers and passengers from serious injuries during a traffic accident. All drivers and passengers must be properly restrained with a seatbelt when the vehicle is in motion. Failure to comply with California seatbelt laws can result in a fine of up to $20 for each violation.
6. Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is a severe offense in California. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%. If caught driving with a BAC above this level, you can be charged with a DUI. However, you can also be charged with a DUI if your BAC is below 0.08%, but you are still impaired to the point where you cannot drive safely.
DUI penalties include jail time, fines, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education classes. You will also have a criminal record if convicted of a DUI. In addition to the legal consequences, drinking and driving can also lead to accidents and injuries. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly and always have a designated driver.
7. Yielding to Emergency Response Vehicles
When you see or hear an emergency response vehicle approaching, it is important to know how to yield appropriately. Depending on the situation, you may need to pull over to the side of the road or even stop completely.
If you are in a congested area, such as a city street, you may need to slowly inch your way over to make room for the EMS vehicle. If you are on a highway, you should try to get into the right lane as soon as possible. Remember to use your blinkers to signal your intentions to other drivers.
Signaling while driving is a critical way to communicate your intentions to other drivers on the road. When done correctly, it can help to prevent accidents and make driving a more efficient experience for everyone involved. Here are some tips for proper signaling:
- Use your signal when you are changing lanes, turning, or exiting a freeway.
- Make sure you signal in enough time for other drivers to react accordingly.
- Do not assume that other drivers know what you are doing - always use your signal to communicate your intentions clearly.
9. Bad Weather
When driving in adverse weather conditions, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. Be sure to increase your following distance as it takes longer to stop on slick roads. Drive slowly and use your lights so you can be more visible.
10. Cell Phones
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, driving while texting is prohibited for all drivers in the state. This includes both handheld and hands-free devices. If a driver is caught driving and texting, they may be subject to a fine and points on their driving record. In addition, some insurers may raise rates for drivers with tickets for driving and texting. As a result, all drivers in California need to be aware of the law and avoid driving while texting.
If you've been in a car accident, you know how devastating it can be. Not only is your car damaged, but you may also be injured and facing a long recovery. The last thing you need is to worry about how you're going to pay for everything.
That's where we come in. We'll work with you to get the compensation you deserve, so you can focus on getting better. Contact the Kershaw Talley Barlow office today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.
Call us at (916) 520-6639 or visit our Contact Us page to complete a consultation request form.