As we are approaching the holiday season, more people will be out on the roads traveling to see family or to take care of holiday errands. As personal injury attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how devastating car accidents can be. At Gibbons Law Firm, we want the 2021 holiday season to be a safe and festive time for you, so we thought we would share a few tips with you to stay safer on the roads as you are traveling. If you are interested in ways to stay safe this holiday season, keep reading this blog!
1) Plan Ahead and Slow Down
It is so easy to get into a rush during this time of the year, but it is just not worth it. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time in case you run into construction or other delays. Avoid the urge to speed as it can not only increase your chances of being in an accident, it can cause the damage from an accident to be exponentially worse.
2) Look Around
It is important to always pay attention when driving. Sometimes you even have to pay attention for the other drivers on the road. Be aware of your surroundings including blind spots, what’s behind you, and even what's on the sides of the road. Remember to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots as well.
3) Defensive Driving
Just because you have the right of way does not necessarily mean the other driver knows or will respect that. So, while you are paying attention and looking around, be thinking about how to react if other drivers don’t do what they are supposed to e.g. signal, yield, stop. Having that in your mind will allow you to respond more quickly if something unexpected happens.
4) Keep Your Distance
Leaving stopping distance between you and the car ahead of you can give you just enough buffer time to avoid an accident. It is recommended to leave 3 seconds of time between you and the other car. While you are driving, pick a tree or sign or another object, and when the car in front of you passes it, start counting. See how long it takes for you to pass it, and then adjust until you have 3 seconds of distance.
5) No Distractions
Not allowing yourself to be distracted can be extra challenging this time of the year. Everyone knows the dangers of texting or using your phone while driving. Yet people do it anyway. It is easy to underestimate the risks of eating or adjusting the radio or heat behind the wheel, but it only takes a few seconds of taking our eye off the road to cause a collision. Even talkative passengers or things going on outside of your vehicle can cause distractions. Your safety is worth the discipline, so just stay focused.
6) Adjust to Weather Conditions
Weather conditions like rain or snow and ice can cause your car to handle very differently. You may lose traction on curves or slide when braking more easily in such conditions. By recognizing changing weather conditions and making mental adjustments you increase your stopping distance and slow your speeds when appropriate. Also, consider having an emergency kit in case you get stranded in bad weather.
7) Don’t Drink and Drive
We know this is a festive time and you want to celebrate with your loved ones. But we cannot overemphasize the importance of drinking responsibly. If you cannot find a designated driver, opt for an Uber or taxi. With the days getting shorter, the deer hazards, and the fact that many people will be driving in unfamiliar areas, drinking and driving is a terrible mix.
Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving from Gibbons Law Firm!
Our Mid-Missouri personal injury attorneys want this to be a happy and safe time for you and your family. We hope you find these tips helpful as you travel during the holidays. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, call our attorneys in LakeOzark. We can help them get the compensation they deserve and need to recover. You can reach Gibbons Law Firm at (573)348-2211 and your initial consultation is free. To keep up with the latest news and tips, be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below!