The focus of the holidays is on spending time with family and friends. For many of us, that means a road trip may be in order. Whether your plans involve visiting people in nearby towns or in states across the country, it is important to realize you will have plenty of company during your travels. The month of December is one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to traffic. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common months for car accidents and injuries. To protect yourself and your passengers, be aware of the risks and practice a few simple safety precautions before you go and while on the road.
Getting Ready for Your Road Trip
According to statistics from the American Automobile Association (AAA), as many as one-third of all Americans make some type of travel plans over the holidays. For more than 100 million people across the country, this means traveling by car. In the days leading up to your trip, take your car to a mechanic for a full check-up. This can help to avoid breakdowns, which are dangerous when they happen on busy roads or highways. Once your vehicle is checked for bigger issues, there are smaller tasks you can perform on your own:
- Check your tires: Make sure they are properly inflated and in good condition;
- Check your lights: Make sure head, tail, and brake lights, as well as turn signals, are all working properly;
- Replace your windshield wipers: Refill your washer fluid as well;
- Make a safety kit: In the event, the unexpected happens, make sure you have the proper tools and a safety kit with blankets, gloves, extra water, snacks, flashlight, and an extra cell phone charger.
Protecting Yourself on the Road
Once the big day rolls around and you are ready to hit the road, taking a few extra safety precautions can help to avoid potential headaches. The travel experts at Frommer’s recommend checking the weather where you are going as well as traffic conditions. Look at the map and consider whether there are any alternate routes you might take and locate rest stops along the way. Before leaving, let someone know your itinerary. Once on the road, follow these tips to increase the odds of reaching your destination safely:
- Obey the speed limit and go slower if there is heavy traffic or adverse weather;
- Avoid tailgating, failing to yield, improper passing, and other aggressive driving behaviors;
- Pay attention and avoid looking at your cell phone or changing GPS settings while driving;
- Make sure you are rested and pull over if you feel your eyes getting heavy;
- Avoid using certain medications on the road, which can impact your driving abilities.
Reach Out to Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys
Despite taking precautions, car accidents can still occur. When they do, the Johnston Law Firm, P.C. helps you get the compensation you need to recover. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian injury attorneys online today to request a consultation.