When California wildfires are raging, our beautiful landscape is transformed into a life-threatening situation. The sky goes dark, the air is hard to breathe, and some Californians lose their homes to the flames.

During the wildfires of summer 2020, Northern California gained the unfortunate honor of having the world’s worst air quality. Locals have faced the terrifying choice between staying in their homes or hopping in their cars and leaving the area – all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are you headed out onto the roads? Here are some important things to keep in mind about staying safe while driving during California wildfires.

Tips for Driving Near Wildfires

Firefighters who manage wildfires advise that there are certain things to do and not do around an actively-burning and expanding wildfire.

When you are in your home or in a building:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to leave an area with an active wildfire.
  • Pack up quickly to leave, gathering essentials like medicine and water.
  • Try to spot areas with smoke in the distance and leave well before the flames approach.

If you must drive near a wildfire:

  • Roll up the car’s windows.
  • Close the car’s vents and turn off the A/C to limit the inhalation of toxic fumes.
  • Turn on your headlights and hazard lights, even during the day.
  • Remain inside the car and keep it running.
  • Make sure all passengers stay in the vehicle until you’re out of the fire zone.

In terms of driving safely, drive at or below the speed limit and don’t try to outrun the fire by driving too fast. Speeding reduces your reaction time and could cause you to have a crash in an already-risky situation.

Use your headlights to help illuminate the road and activate your hazard lights to warn others that you may be traveling slowly. Try to avoid driving directly through heavy smoke where visibility is limited. Look for alternate routes that allow safe passage and good visibility.

Don’t spend precious time taking photos of the blaze and posting about it on social media. In fact, don’t exit the car at all until you’re in a safe place away from the fire. Your priority should be getting yourself and your family to safety.

What if I’m in an Accident Near a Wildfire?

In the summer of 2020, some California residents have faced the double-whammy of pandemic shutdowns and wildfire shutdowns. Many schools, daycares, workplaces, and even health facilities are being forced to temporarily close.

This means people are scrambling to pack up their lives and make new plans at the last minute. Whether you stay in the area or decide to leave your home, get ready for a stressful situation that may involve driving in less-than-ideal conditions.

If you’re in a car accident near a California wildfire, act quickly to follow California law while keeping your family safe. You are required to remain at the scene of an accident with injuries or property damage, or you could be charged with a hit and run. Call 911 for emergency assistance.

After an accident, notify the authorities, gather the other person’s contact information, get your loved ones to safety, and contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers to talk about any severe injuries you or your family members have. Get high-quality medical care and save all related documentation.

Before you sign any papers or make any statements to an insurance company, speak to your lawyer first. Don’t be too eager to settle fast or it could harm your claim and prevent you from collecting future damages.

Stay Safe and Seek Help During California Wildfires

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that California wildfires bring extra danger and worry to your life. We hope you stay safe and healthy during these trying times, and if you need us, we’re right here with you in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and across California.

Amazing group of women to work with! Extremely professional, easy to communicate with, proactive, thorough, and thoughtful. They truly go above and beyond, and really have your back!” – Lorren B.

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We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of traffic law, including injuries that arise from car accidents during wildfires. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Accident Client

“Last March, my partner was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. During this difficult time of healing, we knew that bills were going to pile up and his was going to be a long process. After looking at multiple law firms, we knew that Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers was going to be the best place to work with. Lauren and her team were patient, supportive and caring during his difficult time. His schedule was always busy with work and doctor appointments that his main source of communication was through email. Lauren and her team made it to where he didn’t have to worry about anything but just sending over the paper work he got from the hospital, and other bill collectors involving his incident and they worried about the rest.

Because of all their help my partner Aaron, was able to heal with less worries on his shoulders. By end of December, everything was settled and we were pleased with the results. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Lauren & the Sally Morin team. If you’re looking for a law firm for your incident, I’d definitely look at this law firm.”

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We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and car accidents that involve speeding. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of San Jose and all of California. Contact us today for a


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible