Summer is the time when everyone hits the road, and it’s also the time of year when most auto accidents happen, especially for teen drivers. The reason is most likely because that’s when most people hit the road for vacations, days at the beach, family reunions and other recreational activities. The Christmas holiday season is second. Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve are peak times for drunk driving accidents, and most police departments respond to that by setting up checkpoints on major roads to try and catch them before tragedy strikes.
Don’t lull yourself into thinking accidents only happen when you’re traveling. In fact, the opposite is true. Most accidents happen within 5-10 miles of home. In other words, while you’re heading to school, work, the grocery store and other daily errands. That means you have to be vigilant at all times, starting with wearing your seatbelt. It doesn’t matter how short your trip is, and even if it’s not a law in your state, wear it anyway. They really do save lives. If you have your kids with you, make sure they are in approved car seats, and the same goes for your pets. Remember, if you are hit or have to stop suddenly, anything unsecured inside will become a projectile, capable of causing grave injury and even death. Don’t risk it.
You should always obey all speed limits and traffic laws. Be respectful and aware of bike riders and pedestrians. When you see a red light or a stop sign, come to a complete stop. Don’t roll through it and never ever ignore them, or try to beat the light! Don’t stop on the crosswalk either, stop at the white line behind it to give pedestrians room and time to cross. If the walk light is on, they have the right of way! Don’t make turns in front of them, wait until the crosswalk is clear.
If the worst happens and there’s an accident, be prepared. Have your insurance info and a notepad handy so you can get the other driver’s info. Use your phone to take photos of the damage. Were you hit by someone who ran a red light? A good lawyer can give you red light runner help. If the other driver is belligerent and it is safe to do so, stay in your vehicle until the police arrive. Don’t engage them in any way, it will only fuel the situation. Stay safe!