During the summer months, more vehicles are always on the nation’s streets and highways. Vacations, recreational outings, and road trips have always been a big part of the summertime for many of us in the United States. These travels should always mean happy times, but too often they result in tragedy due to negligent drivers and a failure to take safety precautions. Prevention and planning take some effort, but that’s still much easier than dealing with a serious injury and the other possible consequences of a collision. To avoid injuries on the road this summer, these suggestions can help:
Use the seatbelts. Make everyone aboard agree to use their seatbelt every time. Wearing a seatbelt is the best defense against a serious injury in any collision.
Don’t drive after drinking. Drunk driving deaths spike in the summer, but on average, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related collision every 51 minutes. If you anticipate drinking, choose a sober designated driver or plan on taking a taxi, limousine, or car service.
Stay alert. Summer is the most popular time of the year for long road trips. But, the longer that you drive, the more tired you may become. If you are driving on a long road trip this summer, don’t push yourself. When you notice that you are beginning to feel fatigue, always pull over or ask someone else in the car to take the wheel so you can rest. Drowsy driving is never safe, so you should go to great lengths to avoid having to do it.
Don’t get distracted. When you’re driving, it’s never a good idea to check your phone, make phone calls, constantly change the radio station, put on makeup, or eat or drink. These are all considered distractions while you’re behind the wheel and they put both you and other drivers on the road in danger. Make sure that all of your friends and family know you will not be answering the phone while you drive, so you don’t feel pressure to have to pick up the phone when they call or immediately respond to a text.
Look out for bicyclists. When the weather is so beautiful and sunny in the summer, many bicyclists take to the roads. As a motorist, it’s your responsibility to share the road with bicyclists and ensure that you allow them to ride safely. Pay attention to their hand signals so you know which direction they will be turning to. Never tailgate a bicyclist and if you do have to pass one, be sure that there is ample space between you and the cyclist. The force of your car passing by can cause a bicyclist to lose control and swerve off the road, so it’s important to keep your distance and drive slowly when passing.
Check your air pressure, tread, and spare tire. The more your vehicle weighs, the more essential it is to maintain fully-inflated tires with good tread. This is especially important if you plan on going on a longer road trip, since the further you drive, the more wear and tear you are putting on your car. This will help you avoid having to pull over and call for help in the middle of your trip.
Keep children safe by taking special precautions. Be certain that car seats and booster seats have been correctly installed and that children are in seats recommended for their size and age. Never leave a child unattended, and always check behind your vehicle – and then check again – before backing out of a driveway, a garage, or a parking space.
Prepare for Bad Weather
Every year in the United States, more than five million traffic collisions take place. Overwhelmingly, the majority of these accidents are minor. Almost a quarter of the traffic collisions, about 1.3 million, are related to poor weather conditions, but that doesn’t mean that no one was responsible or negligent. When we drive in bad weather, it’s even more important to keep our eyes on the road and avoid distractions.
If you sustain a personal injury in a weather-related accident in or near Las Vegas, speak at once with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer about your options and legal rights. If you’re injured by a negligent driver, even in foul weather, you can be compensated for your medical treatment and related expenses, but you will need the counsel of an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. Listed here are five recommendations for safe driving in poor weather conditions:
- Turn on your headlights in the rain. They help other drivers to see you. But don’t use your high beams; they can create glare for other drivers.
- When you are moving, do not turn on your flashers for any reason. Flashers indicate that you are stopped, and in the rain, that’s what other drivers will assume.
- As far as possible, stay away from curbs and outside lanes in the rain. That’s typically where the water accumulates.
- Don’t use air conditioning or cruise control. Your windows may fog up if you use the AC, and cruise control reduces your own control. When the rain begins, shut them off.
- As soon as it’s safe, tap your brakes lightly. Wet brake pads can’t stop your car, but tapping your brakes lightly dries them.
- Don’t drive at all in bad weather unless you absolutely must.
If you or a member of your family is injured in a traffic collision in or near Las Vegas because another driver was negligent, speak to an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney right away. You may receive compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. Consult a good personal injury lawyer first, and do it quickly. Evidence needs to be saved and gathered immediately, and statutes of limitations restrict the length of time you have to file a personal injury claim. If despite your best safety efforts, you or a loved one is injured by a negligent driver, call an experienced personal injury attorney immediately for the advice and legal representation you’ll need.