Effective Habits For Avoiding Fault In Auto Accidents

When auto accidents happen, it's up to the legal system to decide how each party is compensated. Unless you live in one of the 12 states that currently use a no-fault system, your degree of fault in the accident will determine how much your insurance must cover--and your rates after the incident. Making matters worse, you could be found "at fault" for some percentage of the collision, even in situations where the other driver clearly caused the accident.

The good news is that there are safe driving habits that you can develop which reduce the amount of fault you'll assume in a collision. Better still, these tips will also help you avoid an accident altogether!

Observe Posted Speed Limits

In certain areas, there is almost an unwritten rule that the speed limit should be ignored. On these roads, you'll be passed almost immediately if you travel at the appropriate speed. In fact, you might think that obstructing traffic with a slower speed is actually more likely to cause an accident than speeding.

The problem is, it's pretty easy for police to determine how fast you were traveling when an accident happens. If you were currently breaking the speed limit when a collision happens, you'll be partially at fault. If you're concerned about liability, following the speed limit is vital. 

Stay In The Right Lane

There's a lesser-known law that deals with proper lane use. On a four lane road, the right lane is designated for typical travel, while the left lane is used for passing. That means using the left lane continuously is more than just annoying to faster drivers--it's against the law.

The solution is to only venture into the left lane when it's time to move around a slower vehicle. However, if your trip into the left lane causes you to break the speed limit, you aren't helping yourself at all. As a rule, you should use the left lane sparingly, if at all.

Signal Properly

Turn signals are life savers on the road. The easiest way to allow other motorists to react to your movement correctly is to clearly communicate your intentions. Unfortunately, many drivers signal incorrectly or not at all--creating problems for themselves and everyone on the road.

As a rule, you should signal at least 100 feet before your intended turn. That means lane changes shouldn't happen until you've signaled for that length of road. Emergencies can mandate otherwise, but following this rule of thumb leads to safer driving and reduced liability.

These tips are commonly taught during driver safety courses, then promptly forgotten. That said, by intentionally reminding yourself of these habits over time, you'll be less likely to encounter a collision--and less likely to pay full price if one happens. For more legal information, speak with experts like The Jaklitsch Law Group.