[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The State of California has a dwindling supply of intensive care unit (ICU) beds due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will likely be facing a continued shortage for weeks. As of December 16, remaining ICU capacity in Southern California was just 0.5%, an abnormally low rate. Limited ICU bed space has many negative consequences, but one consequence that is often overlooked is potentially delayed treatment for critical injuries suffered in car accidents. A lack of ICU bed space makes driving, especially at high speeds, more dangerous. According to several news reports, emergency rooms in LA County and Orange County are so busy that ambulances are being diverted to other hospitals or forced to wait hours before they can drop off a patient. While these kinds of delays may not specifically affect seriously injured car accident victims, any overcrowding in an emergency room can affect the quality of care, inherently making driving more dangerous. However, almost all car accidents are completely preventable. Preventing serious car accidents during the pandemic could also help the hospital system face this unprecedented challenge. There are several ways to prevent car accidents, including the practice of defensive driving. Defensive driving will help your overall awareness while driving and keep you prepared for unexpected hazards. Here are some basic defensive driving tips.
- Plan ahead - Know your driving route and whether or not you may encounter dangerous weather conditions, construction zones, or anything else that may affect the drive.
- Stay aware - Being aware of your surroundings can help you identify erratic behavior in other drivers and avoid collisions
- Do not tailgate - Allow plenty of space between you and the vehicle you are following in case it has to make an emergency stop
- Brake early - Slowing down gradually, especially in adverse weather, can help you avoid rear ending the vehicle in front of you and the vehicle behind you from rear ending you.
- Remain calm - Aggressive driving maneuvers can make turn a tense situation dangerous.