The holiday season will be here soon and it is a good time to reevaluate basic car maintenance and safe driving practices. Accident statistics consistently show that this is indeed a high-activity season, which sees many people involved in accidents at a very inopportune time of the year. No one wants to deal with an accident, however minor, during this time of year when festivity is in the air. Here are five basic safety tips for the season that any car accident attorney would encourage drivers to follow:
1. Attend to Vehicle Maintenance
Changes in weather conditions require some basic preventative maintenance in vehicles. Batteries need to be checked, tires and brakes examined for wear, fluids and antifreeze checked, etc. We recommend that all vehicle owners attend to any maintenance issues ahead of winter, preferably in the fall while the weather is still reasonably good. For car owners who do their own maintenance and basic mechanical work, this is not such a pleasant task in cold weather, so stay ahead of the curve and ensure you fully prepare your vehicle for winter driving while conditions are still fair.
2. Reassess Driving Behavior
Defensive driving strategies have long been a proven method of avoiding accidents. Making a conscious effort to maintain an increased distance between your vehicle and frontal vehicles is a good place to start. Many accidents occur due to tailgating, as it is termed in the transportation industry, and the law of vehicular control used in North Carolina regularly results in the following driver being assigned total fault for a rear-end collision. It is also a good practice to always use signal indicators even in obvious highway movement situations, and engage the indicator well before making the move so other drivers know your intention. Braking distances can be significantly increased when roads are wet and icy, visibility can also be significantly reduced.
3. Observe All Speed Limits
Speed limits are set at certain levels based on a variety of safety factors that government officials use when making the final determination. Many stretches of road have reduced speed and warning signs that are there to benefit drivers and warn of an upcoming dangerous area. It is a known fact that speed kills, and it does not necessarily mean while out on the open highway. While it is often difficult to stay below the speed limit when on the highway in congested traffic moving at an extreme flow, drivers still try to stay within the limits of the law.
4. Allow Plenty of Extra Time When Traveling
Holiday events commonly require many drivers to hit the roads over the festive season. It is always best to leave early for a destination and allow plenty of extra time to arrive. Enjoying the country while in transit can actually be a fun component of taking a trip anywhere. Slow down and take multiple breaks when taking longer trips as this can help avoid distracted driving issues such as eating or drinking while behind the wheel.
5. Do Not Drink and Drive
The holiday seasons are known for parties and such being hosted by employers as well as family events. And while most of them include food, they also often include alcohol consumption. It is always important for those who are driving to abstain from alcohol use or to find a designated driver when they cannot.
These are just several of the practical steps for drivers that any car accident attorney would advise over the holidays. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry, and it begins with solid common sense driving strategies for the benefit of everyone on the highway.