Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg is always on the prowl to find ways for consumers to keep insurance rates low and keep his clients fully insured. Driving accident-free will keep your rates from going up. Here are 3 surprisingly easy tips to reduce the chances of an at-fault accident you may not have considered before. These are proven methods that will reduce the chances of an at-fault accident.
- Where is Your GPS?
To limit distraction, place your portable GPS on the passenger’s seat, screen side down, and listen to the directions instead of watching them, advises Tom Brokop, lead instructor of the UPS driver training school. This also moves the GPS away from the middle of your windshield, where it can block your view. For those with “built-in” navigation systems, discipline yourselves to “listen” to the directions rather than watch them.
In many state (like California), there are GPS Windshield Safety Acts, which permit the mounting of portable GPS units in specific areas of vehicle windshields. The laws specify that the GPS must be mounted within “a 7-inch square area in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver (the passenger side) or in a 5-inch square area in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver (the lower left corner of the windshield).” That means the mounting seen most often and most common, front-and-center GPS windshield mount, is illegal. Also, many standard GPS power cords are not long enough to reach from a power port, all the way to the lower corners of a windshield (not to mention the increased wire clutter created by these corner mounting locations).
- Can You Automate Your Texts?
Texting while you drive makes you 23 times more likely to crash according to a 2009 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study. If you absolutely have to hear your texts while on the road, set up an app like DriveSafe.ly — it automatically responds to calls and texts, says Sue Chrysler, Ph.D. director of research at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator.
Really, texting while driving is not worth the risk. Make a pledge to yourself and the ones you love that you won’t text and drive. This has other benefits as well. During your drive time, try to disconnect from other technology — turn up the stereo and enjoy your private time. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that you will lower your blood pressure, achieve better piece of mind and arrive safely and more relaxed for your meeting or task.
- Don’t Park on the Shoulder of the Road
Do not park on the shoulder of the road to answer phone calls, respond to texts or check your directions — unless absolutely necessary. Repeated studies have shown that doing this places you in significantly increased danger — especially in the dark. For weird autonomic reasons, “If you are sitting on the shoulder at night with your lights on, other vehicles will be lulled into thinking you are actually moving,” says Tom Brokop, of the UPS driver training school.
Somewhere back in our training, we were told to pull over to the side of the road to answer calls and the like. Don’t do it — it is unsafe. Cars on the side of the road become “crash magnets.”
Follow these simple steps this year and you will greatly reduce the chances of an “at fault” accident — and better yet, you can keep your auto insurance rates steady.
About Barry P. Goldberg: Barry P. Goldberg is the managing director of Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation, a personal injury trial firm located in Southern California. Mr. Goldberg’s firm was recently honored as one of the Top 100 fastest Growing Law Firms in America.” Mr. Goldberg is also recognized nationally as an authority on Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Law.”