Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stay Safe While Driving During the Holidays

The holiday season is a busy time for travelers, and increased traffic on the roads, combined with poor weather, typically leads to more accidents. If you and your loved ones plan to travel by car for the holidays, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidents.

Before Your Trip
  • Take your vehicle to the shop for routine maintenance and to have your tires inspected.
  • Check your windshield wipers and pack chains if you will be driving through an area that could get snow.
  • Pack chargers for your phone and GPS and put them in an accessible place in the car, so that you won’t have to take your eyes off of the road to search for them.
  • Plan out your route in advance and also have a map marked out, in case your GPS is unreliable.
  • Have a list of emergency numbers on hand, such as AAA, in case of an accident.
  • Pack snacks and drinks for yourself and passengers.
  • Inform your relatives or friends of when you plan to leave, the route you are taking, and when you should arrive.
  • Plan to leave early to avoid the heaviest traffic times.

While on the Road
  • Get plenty of sleep before hitting the road, so that you are well-rested and alert.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and plan for traffic and other delays.
  • Make sure you and your passengers wear seat belts at all times and that children are properly restrained.
  • Stop every few hours so that you can stretch your legs and take a break, or plan to share the driving responsibilities with another person.
  • If you start to feel sleepy, go to a hotel or pull off the road into a safe area to rest.
  • Follow the speed limit and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles at all times.
  • Do not allow yourself to be distracted by your phone, passengers, or anything else while driving.
  • Stay calm and avoid getting frustrated if you get stuck in traffic.
  • Watch for objects in the road or stopped vehicles, so that you have time to respond.
  • Slow down and be extra cautious if it starts to rain or snow.
  • Be sure to use your headlights when needed.
  • Drive courteously and safely; be sure to use your signal, be patient, and don’t cut off other drivers.

If you are involved in a collision, try to move your car onto the side of the road and call 911. Remain inside your vehicle if possible and turn on your hazard lights. If it is safe to do so, get the other driver’s information and take pictures of the scene. Although being involved in an accident is frightening, try to remain calm so that you can think clearly and stay in control of the situation.

De Castroverde Law Group represents clients in all types of injury and insurance claims in Clark County. Visit our Car Accidents page to learn about your options if you are involved in a collision during the holidays.