As the holidays approach, the Sam Bernstein Law Firm would like to advise safety tips for travelers making long trips to visit family and friends. Traveling in the snow and other icy conditions can present driving challenges.
According to the National Safety Commission, 90 percent of traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday will be by car. Follow a few tips for safe driving to avoid a car accident this holiday season:
Slow down more than usual, and leave room between your car and the car in front of you. Your car may need more time to stop completely when suddenly breaking.
Don’t drink and drive – even buzzed driving can impair your judgment and cause a car accident.
Fatigued driving is also unsafe. The National Highway Safety Administration says fatigue is a factor in 12.5% of crashes that result in hospitalization. The NSC recommends stopping every 2 hours, or 100 miles.
Give yourself more time when scheduling trips to avoid speeding – or travel on off-days, such as the Tuesday before Thanksgiving instead of Wednesday. Often traffic may add another hour to the trip. Check road conditions and the traffic report to find the best possible route.
Being prepared in case of an emergency is also key to preventing injuries and death. Pack an emergency snow kit in your car trunk with a snow scraper/brush, flashlight, blankets, booster cables, a shovel, a bag of sand for tire grip, flares and a first aid kit. Remember to bring a cell phone and car charger, but be sure to pull over before using it to avoid distracted driving.
Bring your automobile to a mechanic and have it winterized before traveling. Have a certified mechanic check your oil level, tire pressure, windshield wipers, heater, defroster, antifreeze, and brakes.
Unfortunately, preventive measures may not always prevent a motor vehicle accident. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a Michigan auto accident, talk with an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer.