Driving in Southern California is dangerous. Based on a recent study conducted by Allstate Insurance Company, Los Angeles ranked 8th out of a list of most dangerous cities to drive in. However, despite dangerous road conditions, reports indicated that a record number of drivers were expected to engage in driving over the Fourth of July holiday. In fact, more than three million Southern Californians were expected by the Automobile Club of Southern California to be traveling to destinations during the holiday, which marks the highest numbers of travelers since 2002. While completely avoiding driving during the holidays – both the Fourth of July and others – is often nonsensical, there are steps that should be taken to maximize safety:
- Always Use a Schedule. Rather than head out on the road at the last minute and end up in traffic or adverse weather conditions, try to leave early in the morning or on an alternate day where travel is less congested. Using a driving schedule can greatly help to avoid situations that might otherwise cause dangerous driving conditions.
- Be Informed About the Weather. In the middle of summer, rain can occur suddenly and unexpectedly, which can add an element of danger to safely driving on the road. Read weather reports before heading out on the road. Also, if you are told that a rainstorm is about to occur, consider waiting to drive until after the storm has passed.
- Buckle Up. The simple benefit of wearing a seatbelt cannot be overstated. If you are traveling anywhere, make sure that your friends and family know to buckle up.
- Don’t Pack Too Many People Into an Individual Vehicle. While Fourth of July celebrations are often full of family and friends, resist the temptation to stuff too many people into one vehicle. Not only does the increased number of passengers in a car make a vehicle harder to stop, and sometimes may even result in rollover situations, having too many passengers in the vehicle also serves to distract the driver’s attention from the road.
- Drive sober. During holidays like the Fourth of July, many people engage in drinking. While it is fine to have an occasional drink, by no means try to operate a motor vehicle while drunk. Realize that drunk driving accidents increase during the holidays and as a result, more than ever operating a motor vehicle requires one’s skills to safely operate a vehicle. Avoid becoming another unfortunate vehicle fatality and remain off the road if you decide to drink during the holidays.
- Get A Tune Up. Whether you are heading down the road or to several cities away, it is always a wise idea to receive a tune up of a vehicle to make sure that the vehicle is in excellent condition and will not break down. Tune ups should include making sure that the vehicle’s fluids are stocked up.
- Inspect Your Vehicle. Before heading out on the road, take some time to inspect your vehicle to make sure that everything is in working order. Tires have been known to blow. Brakes have been known to give out. Make sure that none of these conditions are likely to happen while driving by testing out various parts of the care. Also, be sure to back a supply kit including a cell phone, cell phone charger, water, a flashlight, and a first kit in case the car does happen to break down while driving.
- Never drive distracted. Each year, a large number of car collisions occur because drivers try to text or talk on the phone while driving. If you must talk on the telephone while driving, use a wireless headset. But realize that while wireless headsets make one’s hands free to operate a vehicle, wireless headsets still divert one’s attention. Consider stopping the vehicle if the phone call is important. By no means, never try to text or use a cell phone’s other applications while driving. Otherwise, keep your eyes and attention focused on the road.
- Prepare a Backup Plan. Unfortunately, unexpected things have a tendency of happening while driving. As a result, have a backup plan prepared in case something goes wrong while driving rather that event be the breakdown of the car or striking a wild animal that wanders onto the road. An emergency kit, as already mentioned, will help out greatly in the event that an unforeseen event does occur.
- Remain Alert. Sometimes, parties decide to drive on the road during the early hours of the morning or late at night. If you find yourself in such a situation and growing drowsy, do not hesitate to slow down the vehicle to make sure that no accidents occur due to driver fatigue.
- Slow Down. While the temptation to get to a destination quickly can be great, particularly when one is in a hurry to reach a destination so that holiday celebration and relaxation can officially begin, being in a hurry can often result in an accident. As a result, slow down, obey all posted traffic signs, and make sure that your vehicle is traveling at an appropriate speed.
- Take Breaks. If your destination is a long distance away, do not try to drive the distance in one sitting. Instead, take breaks and make sure that your energy levels are okay before trying to accomplish a feat like driving a tremendously long distance.
- Tell People About Your Travel Plans. Make sure that others know your travel plans, that way in case you do not arrive at your destination than others know that there is likely something wrong with your vehicle and know to begin trying to make sure that you are alive and healthy.
Driving during the holidays can be riskier due to the increased number of cars and drunk drivers on the road. If you are hit by a negligent driver, contact the dedicated car wreck attorneys of The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation. We will work hard for you!