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Tips for safety along U.S. 101, a frequent accident site

Within Santa Clara County, Caltrans currently has six projects relating to maintenance and safety on U.S. Highway 101. But as this highway passes through Palo Alto, it can be the site of motor vehicle accidents that injure and even kill drivers and passengers. Many of the personal injury cases we handle at Bohn & Fletcher could have been avoided if preventative measures had been taken before danger arose. While we specialize in advocating for the rights of injury victims, here are a list of actions any driver can take to reduce the potential for accidents or injuries.

Drive defensively

There are countless situations, often unexpected, that can cause a vehicle near you to lose control and cause an accident. Loss of control could be caused by a tire blowout, road debris, distracted drivers, mechanical failure or unsafe driving, among many other possibilities. Always keep your eyes on the road and keep a safe distance from the cars around you. In heavy traffic situations, which are frequent on U.S. Highway 101, the importance of driving alertly and defensively is even greater.

When you spot a speeding vehicle behind you, if you can, move out of its way.

Keep your own vehicle in good condition

Like the human body, you may not be aware of the inner workings of your vehicle in order to detect when a system or part is not working properly. Keep your tires inflated to manufacturer recommended pressure levels and with sufficient tread. Make sure all the vehicle’s fluids are at proper levels and brake pads are at safe levels.

Wear seatbelts

California law requires motorists to wear seatbelts while riding in a motor vehicle. In addition to the legal requirement, wearing a seatbelt is essential for your own safety and protection. There are innumerable examples of cases in which seatbelts have saved lives.

Drive responsibly when entering and exiting the highway

As you enter the highway, following the posted speed limit allows you to merge safely with approaching traffic. You may not be fully aware of how fast a large truck is traveling or just how difficult it is for that truck to stop and allow you into the lane. Be aware of the traffic flow before entering.

Merging safely has been a source of much local conversation. Bottlenecks have become a common problem on the roads. This is made worse by some drivers who drive aggressively and fail to maintain the flow of traffic by accommodating other motorists.

In addition, some drivers make it look like they are exiting when, in fact, they are looking to move ahead more quickly through traffic. By moving into a non-exit lane at the last moment, other drivers are forced to brake quickly to avoid a crash. When merging onto an off-ramp and exiting, be sure to signal and check your surroundings for other drivers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a highway or other accident

At Bohn & Fletcher, we represent victims injured in motor vehicle accidents. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis. We advance all costs of handling your claim and are not paid any fee unless we obtain compensation for you. We also do not charge for initial consultation for case evaluation.