The summertime is here again, and everyone wants to hit the road for a vacation, even if it lasts only a day or two. The coronavirus pandemic that has kept most people in their homes for months has only strengthened that annual summertime road trip itch. Since many tourist destinations and local hotspots like popular eateries are once again being ordered to close down as a second wave of the virus grows, the likelihood of people hitting the road just for the pleasure of sightseeing could be even greater.
When you go for a drive in the coming months, you should not be surprised to see much more traffic than usual. With increased traffic, increased car accidents naturally follow.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
You obviously want to avoid getting into a traffic collision, so what can you do to improve your chances of staying safe while the roads are busier in the summer? A simple first step is planning your route deliberately. Whether you have a long drive across the state or just need to go to the market, choose a route and a departure time that works best for your plans and that will ideally place you in the slightest amount of traffic possible. The simple act of being deliberate with your driving plans will help keep you focused behind the wheel, giving you greater reaction times in emergency situations that could prevent a crash.
Keep Your Distance When Possible
More traffic during the road usually does not mean you will encounter full-on traffic jams. Instead, it just means that the average stretch of road and intersection will have noticeably more cars, especially during the busiest hours of the day.
With this said, you should be able to intentionally keep some distance between you and the cars around you. Do your best to leave at least one car’s length between you and the car in front of you. Pay attention to your own blind spots and those of other motorists, so you don’t risk lingering in them. Merge or change lanes early to avoid unsafe, last-minute maneuvers.
There are many defensive driving techniques you should always be doing that you can definitely follow during the summer – when safe driving might count the most.
Beware Out-of-State Drivers
During coronavirus lockdown procedures, people have been discouraged from unnecessary travel and out-of-state trips. Of course, there will still be plenty of people leaving their hometowns for a road trip to or through yours.
When you spot out-of-state plates on a vehicle, give that driver some room. Out-of-state drivers are naturally at a safety disadvantage because they are usually unaware of your state’s specific traffic rules, and they will likely not know about the unofficial, unspoken rules drivers in your state tend to follow. They might be completely safe in their own states but pose unexpected roadway hazards in yours.
A Little Hazard Kit Goes a Long Way
While we are on the topic of safe summertime driving, it is always worth mentioning that you should keep a hazard kit in your car. You never know when your vehicle will break down or a reckless driver will blindside you, causing a serious crash. A hazard kit can help prepare you for the worst, and, if you never need it, you will still feel better knowing you have it.
A few items to place in every vehicle hazard kit include but are not limited to:
- Bottles of water
- Nonperishable food
- Basic first aid kit
- Flashlight and radio with batteries
- Roadside flares
- Jumper cables
The typical climate of where you plan on driving this summer will affect what goes in your hazard kit, too. Check out information from local safety groups to learn more about what you can put in your car’s hazard kit for any road trips this summer.
In a Crash? Call an Attorney
Lastly, to stay safe during increased summer traffic, store a trusted personal injury attorney’s number in your phone ahead of time. Some of the strongest personal injury claims begin by involving a lawyer soon after a car accident. An experienced attorney can help you interact with insurance companies early, reducing your risk of doing or saying the wrong thing that increases your liability.
Car accident claimants in Phoenix can come to Rafi Law Group for legal guidance and representation after a crash. Call (623) 207-1555 if you want to speak with our attorney. Or save our number in your phone now to plan ahead for the unexpected.