The holidays are a joyful time, full of festive parties and gatherings with friends and family. It also means more people will be on the road during this time, going on road trips, shopping, and attending holiday events. In fact, the American Automobile Association estimates that 97 million people travel by car during the holidays. Unfortunately, more people on the road leads to more car accidents. If you want to survive the holiday season and avoid injury, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Put Down the Phone
Distracted driving is the cause of approximately 25% of all motor vehicle fatalities. Cell phone use is one of the main reasons drivers continue to drive distracted. From texting to surfing the internet, smartphones keep us connected to the outside world 24/7. Yet when you’re driving, these distractions can reduce the likelihood that you will be able to react to changes on the road quickly. To combat this, put down the phone or place the phone out of reach while driving. Let your friends and family members know that you will not be answering phone messages or texting when you are behind the wheel and encourage them to do the same.
Designate a Sober Driver
According to the NHTSA, drunk drivers kill 29 people every day in the United States. During the holiday season, drunk driving accidents can increase due to more people getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. In Florida, it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. For some people that can be as little as one or two drinks. To be safe this holiday season, designate a sober driver. Better yet, arrange to have an Uber or a Lyft drive you home. The best way to prevent a drunk driving accident is not to get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
Winterize Your Car
Winter is already here and that means colder temperatures and slicker roads. In Tampa, the weather may be milder than in other parts of the country, but it is always best to winterize your car ahead of time. Check your fluid levels and your tires before the winter gets underway. Low tire tread is a primary reason for tire blowout accidents. Before taking a road trip, winterize your car and prepare an emergency kit. It is always better to be safe – than sorry.
Before heading out on a road trip, plan your route in advance. Be sure to check for emergency road closures, poor winter weather, or accidents. Knowing your route before you drive will reduce the likelihood of needing to check your GPS while driving. Bad weather, poor road conditions, traffic, and road delays can all increase the risk of getting into a serious accident. Planning your route will enable to you to arrive at your destination safely and avoid serious accidents along the way.
A Tampa Car Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident this holiday season, the steps you take immediately after the accident can significantly impact your ability to collect the money you need to recover. One of the first steps you should take is to talk to an experienced Tampa car accident attorney. Your attorney can begin building your case, investigating your accident, and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. Contact the Tampa car accident lawyers at Dennis A. Lopez & Associates today for the legal representation you need after an accident. Call us at 813-223-1977 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.