The holiday road trip is a time-honored tradition. AAA estimated that 48.5 million Americans took to the roads over the Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of almost five percent and the most travelers since 2005. Unfortunately, an increase in traffic volume almost certainly means an increase in the number of car accidents. In this post, we’d like to discuss some of the steps you can take to keep your family safe as you hit the road this holiday season.
Take a Trip to the Mechanic
We get it – taking your car to the mechanic and asking them to look for problems seems like a good way to blow your holiday budget. Still, if you don’t already have one, find a trustworthy mechanic and have them make sure your vehicle is safe for the trip. At a minimum, check the following components to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy:
● Fluids: oil, transmission, power steering, wiper fluid
● Tires and brakes
● Windshield wipers
● Headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals
Many accidents are caused by mechanical failures due to the owner’s failure to maintain the vehicle. Don’t jeopardize your family’s safety by driving an unsafe vehicle.
Don’t Drive Tired
Relying on data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the CDC reports that there were 72,000 crashes in 2015 due to driving while drowsy. Those accidents resulted in approximately 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths. Studies show that driving while tired impairs your ability to drive safely in the following ways:
● Slows your reaction time
● Makes it difficult to pay full attention to the road
● Affects your ability to make good decisions
The night before you leave, get to bed early, and get your sleep. If you’re tired while driving, take a break – stretch your legs and maybe get a cup of coffee. Also, it may be tempting to leave after work or drive late into the night, but studies have shown the number of accidents caused by drowsy driving increases significantly after dark.
Obey the Speed Limit and Rules of the Road
The NHTSA reported that 27% of all crashes in 2016 involved at least one driver who was speeding. Traffic laws are designed to keep us safe. Excessive speeding, tailgating, and other aggressive driving behaviors can lead to severe accidents.
Avoid Peak Travel Days and Times
This may be obvious, but the more drivers that are on the road, the more likely there are to be accidents. Traffic jams create unpredictable traffic patterns and result in a lot of accidents. To the extent possible, try to plan your trip in a way that allows you to avoid peak travel times.
Contact a Downey California Car Accident Attorney
Despite our best efforts, accidents will happen. If you or your family is injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced car accident attorney. He or she can evaluate your case and help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Our Pomona car accident lawyers can help you put your life back together and protect your family’s future. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at (562) 222-3067 or contact us online.