The cars designed today are better than ever with new technology, increased safety protocols, and more. So why are there more and more car accidents and fatalities occurring on our highways with each passing year?
Early measurements of highway fatalities in 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show an estimated 42,915 people suffered death from a car crash last year. This is a whopping 10.5% increase year to year, bringing us to a 16-year high. These are not numbers we want to be hitting or records we want to be breaking!
So, let’s look at what we can do to hopefully curb the injuries and fatalities we see on the highway to keep all of us and the ones we love arriving at our destinations safe and sound.
10 Tips for Staying Safe and Avoiding Car Accidents This Summer
- Keep your vehicle maintained – While regular vehicle maintenance is a good idea any time of year, the extreme heat requires closer attention to specific parts of your car. High temperatures can be really rough on your tires, for example. Tire blowouts can quickly happen because of the increased stress on your tires. Look closely at the tread left on your tires as well as the tire pressure. Also, take time to have your brakes checked frequently and check that everything is working correctly and fluids are all filled and ready for the summer months.
- Keep an eye on the weather – The summer months can bring about all kinds of different weather swings depending on where you live. Summer rainstorms can bring tornados or flash floods that you need to be aware of. Before you leave your area, especially if you’re going to be driving a long distance, make sure to check the weather forecast. You might find that you are better off delaying your trip a day just to stay safe.
- Try traveling on less busy days – Weekends and holidays are notorious for being busy travel days. If you have the choice, try scheduling any long driving days for weekdays to avoid heavy traffic. Keep in mind there are also days when there are increased chances of encountering a drunk driver (New Year’s Eve, etc.).
- Do you need glasses? – If you need glasses or contacts to be able to see clearly, don’t try driving without them. Driving for a long time can be really straining to your eyes, so taking breaks, especially when the sun is out and in full force, can make a world of difference to those tired eyes. Also, wear sunglasses that can help protect your eyes from getting tired and damaged from the sun as well as to cut down on some of that glare that makes it hard to see the other vehicles on the road.
- Add a little distance between you and the car in front of you – We always seem to be in a rush to get to our next destination. This can sometimes make us a little anxious, and we tend to follow the car in front of us a little too close. Therefore, giving a little extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is always a good idea. This is especially true if you are hauling an RV, boat, or something else behind you.
- Have a little more patience with other drivers – It’s easy to get wound up about other drivers that you feel are driving too slowly or are simply just in your way. When you get behind the wheel, try to take a deep breath and have more patience with the other drivers around you. Especially in the summer months, you will probably encounter people traveling in your area who aren’t as familiar with the roads and places. Have a little grace for those drivers. After all, you’ll want the same in return when you’re in unfamiliar territory!
- ALWAYS wear a seat belt – In this day and age, wearing a seat belt should be second nature to you and your kids. Everyone should know that wearing a seatbelt is expected when they get in your car. When traveling far on summer vacation, it can be tempting to unbuckle so you can get a little more comfortable but resist the urge! We know that seatbelts save lives in car accidents!
- Allow extra time to get where you’re going – Plan ahead and know how long it will take to get to your destination. Then allow spare time for traffic and other unplanned events. This will help you be less anxious, and your driving will reflect that!
- Don’t text and drive! – No matter the temptation, don’t text and drive. If you must read or respond to a text, pull over or have a passenger read and text someone back. You know the rules, and you know the risks. Don’t risk your safety or others on the road to answer a silly text message. It’s just not worth it.
- Try to limit distractions – So many things can distract us while we are driving. There’s the radio, eating food, disciplining our children, and more. Try to finish up tasks that could distract you on the road before getting behind the wheel. Let your kids know that driving is something you need to focus on so that car accidents are not part of your future. Take breaks often if you need to cut down on some of the disruptions you usually encounter.
If You Are in an Accident
If you find yourself in the aftermath of an accident, don’t wait to contact the experienced attorney professionals at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. for help. You will want legal representation if you have been involved in car accidents of any degree. Our attorneys will help you navigate the legal world as you put your effort into healing and moving on. Call us at (504) 522-2304 to schedule a free consultation today.