Nobody wants to get into a car accident — but it’s a reality than we’re all contending with whenever we get on the road. While you can drive as carefully as possible, you’re ultimately only responsible for your own driving. You have to take into account how others drive, but the fact is that you can’t predict their actions, and you can’t count on them driving as responsibly as you would. Driving with others in mind is sometimes referred to as defensive driving; while you shouldn’t be paranoid, and being overly cautious can be just as problematic as being overly reckless, it’s important to be prepared for the mistakes of others. You can’t be sure that others won’t fall prey to distracted driving, or even driving under the influence. When driving in Denver, you’ll also have to take into account other issues specific to the area.
Denver isn’t a small city, and it’s only becoming more popular over time. This means that you’ll sometimes have to contend with heavy traffic, especially around rush hour traffic times at morning and night. Of course, the denser the traffic, the more likely you’ll be to get into a car accident. Another problem that can occur in Denver — more often than in other locations — is that of severe weather, particularly during the winter. Heavy snow and icy roads can make it difficult to see and control your vehicle, even when you drive defensively. For all these reasons, you need to be aware of the risks when hitting the road, as well as what you should do in the worst-case scenario when you are in a car accident.
How Likely Are You To Be In A Car Accident In Denver?
In general, car accidents are unfortunately more likely than you might think. Studies have shown that 1.2 million people die in car wrecks each year worldwide — and in the United States, about three million are injured in car wrecks. When it comes to Denver, 2018 saw 61 people die in car accidents, and 2019 is expected to close out with around 62. Though this may be a much smaller number, keep in mind that it’s confined to one individual city, and it doesn’t count the accidents that occur on the streets but involve scooters, bicycles, motorcycles, and other vehicles rather than cars. Denver is also home to a decent amount of unattended hit and runs, which are accidents that involve drivers hitting other cars, and leaving the scene without alerting the scene (which is illegal).
As you can imagine, some areas in Denver are home to more car accidents than others. While you could get into an accident anywhere, you’ll obviously want to be more cautious in areas with higher concentrations of accidents — and there’s often a higher likelihood of police officers patrolling these higher concentration areas, which puts you at a higher risk of getting a ticket as well. Highland Park, Auraria, and west LoDo had the highest number of accidents or hit runs and in September 2019, which is likely partly due to the fact that the Colorado Department of Transportation chose it to be the center of a recent improvement project. Construction can often cause issues with traffic. This area was tied with Ballpark, Five Points, and the RiNo Art District. Conversely, the area with the lowest concentration of accidents and hit and run incidents in the Denver area is Northeast Park Hill and north Stapleton, tied with Westwood, Barnum, and Valverde.
What Should You Do If You’re In A Car Accident?
If a car accident happens, you obviously can’t predict the circumstances in which it will happen. But you can prepare for what you will do, ideally. The key to taking care of yourself and others after a car accident is to remain as calm as possible. Your first priority should be seeking medical attention for yourself and anyone in the car with you. Hopefully, you won’t receive any wounds, and if you do receive any they’ll be minor. Make sure that your injuries are well-documented; it’s possible that you may suffer from symptoms for some time after the initial injury. This is sometimes referred to as a chronic non-healing wound, which is a wound that has undergone standard treatment and has not responded within 30 days.
Injuries like these, among other reasons, are why it’s important to hire a car accident lawyer — and the best one possible. Your attorney will protect your rights, and help you avoid being sued or held responsible for an accident that wasn’t your fault. They can also help you pursue compensation for damage to your car or injuries that cause you long-term impairments or severe medical expenses. If you can — or if someone else can for you — try to document the scene as well as possible. Take photos, video, and perhaps even sound recordings or notes. Make sure that police officers on the scene are documenting comments as well. This will be a huge help when you contact your auto insurance provider.
“Insurance companies want documentation for everything – this includes injuries and wage loss,” says Allen Tittle of Tittle & Perlmuter. “So, the most important thing you can do is not try to ‘tough it out.’ Instead, see a medical provider for your injuries and get everything documented. Also, follow your doctor’s advice! If he or she says to go to physical therapy, go to therapy!”
It’s easy to be frightened in the case of a car accident, and just as easy to become nervous when driving. The key — whether you’ve just been in an accident, or are simply hitting the road — try to be as calm as possible. You’ll be much safer if you’re methodical and careful without being paranoid. Ultimately, you can only control yourself, not the actions of others or the weather. Keep that in mind, and hit the road with optimism!
2021 12 31 Update
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