Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Safe Driving in 2012

Posted by Car Accident Attorney

Need to make a list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2012? It’s an annual tradition to create a list of New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead, but this year our firm’s employees got together and decided to provide a list of resolutions to share with drivers and pedestrians in an effort to make roads safer next year.

“Several of our own employees were injured this year in traffic accidents due to another driver’s negligence so in the spirit of New Year’s we would love to see safer roads in 2012,” said Attorney West Thomas, founder of the Thomas Law Firm in Irvine. “Let’s follow these resolutions and continue the trend that shows traffic fatalities in California have been declining since 2005.”

  • There were 2,805 people killed in the 426,228 accidents in California in 2009, the latest statistics compiled by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This includes 383 killed in motorcycle accidents and 52 killed in truck accidents.
  • Nationally, 5,505,000 people were involved in traffic accidents including 30,797 fatal and 1,517,000 injuries, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, NHTSA reported that most of those killed (24,410) were drivers and passengers, 4,462 were on motorcycles and 4,872 were non-occupants including pedestrians and bicyclists.


Here are the Seeegmiller Law Firm’s top 10 resolutions for 2012:


  1. Wear a seatbelt every time you travel anywhere on our roadways. There were 544 people killed and 9,411 injured in traffic accidents in California who were not using seat belts, according to the 2009 DMV statistics. Risk of death or serious injury in a crash is 50% for those who do not wear seatbelts, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.  Make sure that young children are using appropriate safety seats and beginning in 2012, new safety standards are in place for children who are 8 years and under. Gov. Jerry Brown approved a new law that requires those under 8 or 4 foot 9 inches tall must use booster seats.
  2. Resolve to give yourself an extra 10 minutes to get to your destination. Speeding was listed as the primary cause of accidents for close to a third (29%) of all traffic accidents in California, according to the DMV. Drivers who are late are also more likely to tailgate, weave through traffic, make unsafe lane changes that can lead to deadly car crashes. “Tailgating is a big problem on our roadways,” Thomas said. “Many of our injured clients were hurt because another driver rear-ended them because they were following too closely.”
  3. Put down your cell phone and resolve not to text while you are behind the wheel. Most people don’t realize that it’s illegal to use your cell phone while you are stopped and waiting for a red light to turn green. Indeed, the California Supreme Court this year upheld a decision against a driver who was ticketed for using his cell phone while stopped at a red traffic light. Drivers surveyed this year by the California Office of Traffic Safety ranked cell phone use as the number one safety problem in 2011. Also, drivers should stop engaging in other distractions such as fiddling around with the radio or road navigation systems while in motion and don’t eat and drive — you’ll spend less time cleaning it too!!
  4. Please don’t drink and drive. One of the easiest ways to reduce traffic accidents is to make a resolution to not drink or take drugs and drive or be a passenger in a vehicle where someone has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Roughly 12,000 people are killed annually in traffic accidents involving impaired drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  5. Get plenty of sleep and avoid driving drowsy. Motorists who drive drowsy can be as dangerous on the road as drunk or drugged drivers.  Pull over somewhere safe and try stretching or doing some exercise or find a rest spot where you can rejuvenate before getting back on the road.
  6. Adjust your driving to weather conditions. Resolve to slow down and drive safely when roads are wet or weather conditions make road conditions hazardous for drivers. Traction on wet roads decreases and vehicles need to allow for more stopping distance between cars.
  7. Share the road with motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists. These people are the most vulnerable to injury or death when it comes to traffic collisions. Long-term NHTSA statistics show a decline in injury and fatality rates for non-occupants such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Fatalities were down by roughly 60% (between 1975 and 2009) and injuries were down 52% (between 1988 and 2009), based on the number per 100,000 population.
  8. Pedestrians will resolve to cross at designated crosswalks or intersections. National statistics show that the number one cause of pedestrian fatalities (21%) was improper crossing of roadways or intersections.
  9. Resolve to wear a helmet 100% of the time. If you are on a bicycle, skateboard or motorcycle wear safety helmets that are approved by the U.S. Department of Traffic Safety. Novelty helmets may provide no protection in a crash because they lack required padding necessary to protect your skull and brain. Statistics show that roughly 34% of all fatal traumatic brain injuries are the result of traffic accidents. Parents should teach their children the importance of always wearing a helmet and should also wear one themselves so children don’t get mixed messages.
  10. Stock your car with a first aid kit, water, non-perishable food and blankets. Every year there are those involved in crashes where they are trapped for several days before being rescued. One notable case this year was that of a 68-year-old grandfather who survived six days after being trapped in his car at the bottom of a 200-foot ravine in the Angeles National Forest .  He survived by drinking creek water, eating dead bugs and leaves.

Sometimes drivers do everything right and they are still involved in a traffic accident. Certainly the odds of being involved traffic accidents in California are high. According to the DMV, since 2000, vehicle occupants had a one in 12,509 chance of being killed in a traffic collision and one out of every 165 people were injured in one. Additionally, among licensed drivers, one out of every 79 were involved in either a fatal or injury traffic collision, statistics show.

For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Thomas Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients injured in serious traffic accidents. Our legal team has also handled hundreds of wrongful death claims for families of victims killed in traffic accidents. Indeed, the car accident law firm has a proven track record supported by settlements ranging from several thousand dollars to millions.

Thomas is a personal injury law firm with a track record of proven results. There is no cost to clients until our experienced team of lawyers and legal professionals have won your case. Finding the best car accident attorney can mean you will get the settlement you need to get your life back on track. Compensation for your injuries, loss of wages and pain and suffering can’t take away the trauma of the accident, but it can help you rebuild your life.

Call us today at 1-877-426-0695 to speak with our car accident law firm. Thomas Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine. We also have offices outside of Orange County to serve you in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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