The Holiday Season is Coming! How to Avoid an Accident While Traveling
The holiday season is just around the corner, and with that comes lots of plans for travel. Because of decreases in fuel costs and growing frustration with airlines, more and more people are reaching their holiday destinations by driving.
Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road means there is a greater likelihood of accidents. Motor vehicle accidents range from minor fender benders to horrific accidents where people are severely injured or even killed. The costs of these accidents are both financial and personal and can change your life in a second.
Tips to Prevent a Car Accident
Rather than leave everything up to chance, you can do some simple things that will help you avoid getting in a car accident over the holiday season.
1. Avoid the “fast lane”: Usually the “fast lane” is the far left lane. If you are traveling in that lane, you have fewer escape routes if something unexpected happens.
2. Adjust your seat: You will have better control over the steering wheel if you move your seat close enough to it. The rule of thumb is that your wrists should be able to rest on top of the wheel while your back is still against the seat.
3. Scan the area ahead with your eyes: Many of us focus on the car in front of us, especially when driving for long periods of time. However, if you scan the area further in front of you, you will be more aware of your surroundings and better able to react in an emergency.
4. Avoid night driving: While there is usually less traffic at night, there are a lot of risks associated with night driving. These risks include your own fatigue, the presence of drunk drivers, and difficulties seeing animals on the road.
5. Judge other drivers by the condition of their car. If you notice that a car near you is swerving or has a lot of damage, there is probably a reason for that. Avoid driving near that sort of vehicle.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tips
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides some tips on how to stay safe when driving during the holidays. The three main areas the NHTSA recommend that you focus on are:
1. Buckle Up, Drive Sober, and Pay Attention: These may seem like obvious choices, but unfortunately people do not always make the correct choices all the time.
Being buckled up reduces your risk of injury or death if you are in an accident. Being alert, sober, and aware is essential in preventing accidents in the first place. This includes avoiding texting while driving!
2. Check your Vehicles and Tires: While mechanical issues can occur any time during the year, they tend to become more prevalent in colder weather.
You should pay particular attention to your car’s condition if you will be traveling to a colder and icier climate than where you usually live and drive.
3. Plan ahead: Check the road conditions several times before you head out on the road. Have a route and a backup plan in mind. Be sure to take an emergency kit in case there is an accident of some sort and you find yourself stranded in the cold.
Other Tips to Remember
Make Sure that Your Vehicle is in Good Shape: Before you travel, you should make sure that your car is in good shape. This is especially important if you will be traveling a long distance. If your car is in rough shape, your chances of getting into a car accident increase.
Avoid Tailgating: You need to avoid following other cars too closely. If the person ahead of you suddenly slams on the brakes, you’re in trouble. There should be a six to eight second distance between your car and the car that is ahead of you.
And . . .
Drive the Posted Speed Limit: You are likely anxious to get to your destination, but under no circumstance should you speed. Speeding simply means that it is much easier for you to lose control of your vehicle – not to mention getting pulled over by the police.
This is something that you are 100% in control of. You should heed the posted speed limits at all times.
The bottom line is to take your time, stay alert, and stay safe while traveling this holiday season. Have fun!
Contact a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer
If you are looking for a knowledgeable lawyer for your car accident case, then contact Glotzer & Kobren today at 561-361-8677 for a free consultation.
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