According to the travel group AAA, an average of more than 40 million Americans will take to the road to celebrate the Fourth of July. These people will often travel upwards of 50 miles from their homes to see friends and family. This creates one of the most dangerous highway environments in the country, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Although it can be daunting to travel at a time where the potential to be involved in an accident is high, there are ways that you can protect yourself. Follow these tips to prevent a car accident in Pensacola this Independence Day.
1. Get Basic
One of the easiest things you can do is go back to basics. Buckle up every time you get in a car. Stay away from alcohol if you are going to be driving, obey the speed limit and other rules of the road, and be courteous. You don’t have to know fancy maneuvers to avoid a car accident. Often times, driving carefully and being attentive is enough.
2. Take Care of Your Car
Many people neglect to follow this tip: Get your car checked out by a mechanic before you take a road trip. Make sure all your fluids are topped off, your tires are properly inflated and ensure that all cables and belts are tightened and in working order. A bit of proper maintenance can go a long way in increasing your safety.
3. Look at the Timing
Try to avoid traveling on the holiday itself, as it is typically safer to travel in the days leading up to and the days following the holiday. According to some, the worst time to travel is in the early afternoon the day before or the day of the holiday. Driving home is most dangerous on a Monday evening.
4. Stay Alert
Distracted driving is a real danger, no matter the time of year. While driving during a holiday, it’s even more important to stay focused and alert. This means that you should be doing nothing behind the wheel that isn’t contributing to the task at hand: Driving. Don’t eat, drink or talk on your phone. If your passengers are distracting you, ask them to tone it down.
5. Stay Awake
Some people will get up in the wee hours of the morning to set off on their journey. This can help you avoid traffic which will certainly make your trip a bit safer, but it can also make things more dangerous.
If you drive while you are too tired to do so, you can easily cause a car accident. Don’t drive if you did not get enough sleep. If your journey is a long one, take someone with you who can share the responsibility of driving.
6. Know Your Route
If you are going somewhere you’ve never been, take the time to know your route. Don’t solely rely on your GPS while you are driving. Study the route so you have a general idea of where you’re going. If you have a reliable passenger, ask them to man the GPS during the trip so you can keep your eyes on the road.
7. Don’t Drink and Drive
This should go without saying: Don’t drink and drive. Driving while impaired at any time is risky, but during a busy holiday it is incredibly dangerous. If you are drinking, use a ride sharing service, choose a designated driver or use public transportation. Don’t put yourself and others in harm’s way.
It can be easy to forget that every time you slip behind the wheel of your vehicle, you are entering a dangerous environment. Using common sense can go a long way in keeping you safe.
Speak with a Pensacola Car Accident Attorney Today
If you are involved in a car accident in Pensacola this Fourth of July, reach out to our office. We will review the details of your collision at no cost to you and help you determine the best way to move forward. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Call us today to schedule your case evaluation.