Many of us have been traveling more recently to spend time with family and friends, attending or hosting gatherings, taking long road trips or flying out of state, or simply driving to run errands. Unfortunately, there is a significant increase in car accidents during this time especially during holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day.
When you mix poor road conditions and negligent or reckless driving behaviors, the combination can result in serious or even fatal injury. The following blog post is an overview of the common driving dangers, as well as tips to stay safe.
Whether it’s a party or dinner, most of these celebrations involve alcohol consumption. According to a 2018 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 285 fatal drunk driving accidents in the United States occurred during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day alone.
Being under the influence negatively impacts your motor skills, your judgment, and your vigilance. Since drunk driving is a huge issue especially during holidays, police departments in every state increase the number of officers patrolling the roads and set up more sobriety checkpoints during three-day or four-day weekends to arrest intoxicated motorists and keep the roads safe.
If you plan on having a few drinks at an event, do not get behind the wheel at all costs. Instead, have a designated driver take you home or request a ride from Uber or Lyft.
Many people may feel the financial pressures and are pressed for time to accomplish too much within a short period of time, causing them to feel an immense amount of stress. Additionally, going on a road trip can be stressful because you may be dealing with traffic or driving someone that is unfamiliar.
Driving while under emotional stress can result in poor judgment, road rage, and collisions. If you find yourself feeling stressed while you are behind the wheel, acknowledge any strong emotions you might be experiencing and be aware of your current state of mind. If you feel angry, agitated, or unable to concentrate, you can take deep breaths, put on some soothing music, or even pull over for a few minutes.
Stress can also lead to reduced sleep that, in turn, results in fatigued driving. Because of daylight savings time, we find ourselves spending most of our time driving when it is dark outside, which can compound drowsiness. Furthermore, driving for hours and hours during a road trip can also make anyone tired.
Fatigued driving can negatively affect your ability to properly react to road conditions and cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel. Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night to avoid drowsy driving. If you plan on going on a road trip, get plenty of rest before your trip, plan time to take rest stops during your journey, and drive with a passenger to either keep you alert or take over driving duties if you feel tired.
From rain and gusty winds in the city to ice and snow in the mountains, inclement weather conditions can make driving more difficult in California. Such weather not only affects how you maneuver your vehicle but can also cause vehicle malfunctions, which can lead to a crash.
When driving through inclement weather, you must be cautious by driving slowly, brake lightly, and always pay attention to your surroundings. Increase your distance between other vehicles because you never know if the car in front of you may drive over black ice and start spinning out of control. Lastly, ensure your vehicle is properly maintained and in good condition.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Woodland Hills or Los Angeles County, call Frish Law Group, APLC at (818) 477-1905 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free case evaluation. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.