Driving Safety Tips for This July
Millions of drivers hit the road during the summer months for vacations, road trips, and holiday festivities. With the roads more congested, the potential for car crashes increases. This July, you can be prepared for anything out on the road by following these essential driving safety tips.
With so many motorists out and about this summer, it is more important than ever to minimize distractions while you’re driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that over 3,000 people lost their lives due to distracted driving in 2020 alone. Many accidents are caused by texting and driving each year. A roadway hazard can happen at any time, especially when traffic is so heavy during the summer, so you can’t afford to take your eyes off the highway for even the 5 seconds it takes to send a text. You should avoid distractions like:
- Using your cell phone or GPS device
- Eating and drinking
- Putting on cosmetics
- Talking excessively to passengers
- Managing the radio or other entertainment system
By preventing these types of distractions and keeping your attention on driving where it belongs, you will greatly reduce your risk of becoming involved in an accident.
Traffic laws are designed to keep everyone on the road safe, so it is imperative to follow them carefully. According to the NHTSA, speeding accounts for nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities. Speeding increases the risk of losing control of your vehicle and having a more serious accident. It takes a speeding vehicle longer to stop in an emergency situation, and navigating the roadway hazards you could encounter becomes even more challenging. To keep yourself and everyone in your vehicle safe, you should keep to the posted speed limit, even if it costs you a little extra time on your trip.
Watch Out for Erratic Drivers
With summer vacations in full swing, you will find more distracted drivers on the road. Beware of motorists who may not be giving driving their full attention. Their driving can seem more erratic. Be sure to look out for these signs:
- Vehicle struggles to stay within lane
- Inconsistent speeds
- Braking suddenly or frequently
- Driver looking down at cell phone
- Driver interacting with passengers often
If you find yourself near a distracted driver, it is a good idea to find a safe location to pull over your vehicle. Give them a few minutes to pass ahead of you before heading back to the road.
Avoid Following Vehicles Too Closely
Rear-end accidents are often caused by vehicles that are following too closely. As a driver, tailgating gives you less time to react if the vehicle in front of you decides to make a sudden stop. The faster that you’re going, the riskier that tailgating becomes. You can maintain safety out on the road by ensuring that there is enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you at all times. At minimum, your stopping distance should be 2 to 3 seconds behind the other vehicle.
Check AC Performance
Your car’s air conditioning will be working overtime this summer. If it seems to be struggling to keep up with the heat, consider having it checked out by an automotive professional. With the risk of heatstroke high during the summer, it can be incredibly dangerous to drive without a properly working cooling system.
Inspect Tire Pressure
Higher temperatures can raise the pressure in your tires, which increases the risk of blowouts. Under-inflated tires can also lead to tire failure. You don’t want to be out in the heat dealing with tire changes, so you should ensure that each tire is inflated to the manufacturer’s specific recommendation. This number can usually be found in the owner’s manual or on a label on the driver’s side door frame. If you’re planning a summer trip, the tire’s air pressure should be checked before you travel to minimize your risk. It’s also a good rule of thumb to keep a spare tire ready to go in your car in the event of an emergency.
Pack an Emergency Kit
It’s also important to have an emergency kit in your vehicle, especially if you’re travelling to unknown areas. This bag should include:
- An extra phone charger
- A blanket
- A flashlight
- Bottles of water
- Jumper cables
- Basic tool kit
- Extra batteries
- A compass and map
- Non-perishable foods
- A change of clothes
Avoid Peak Travel Times
If you have the flexibility, try to be a little strategic with planning your trip. For example, traveling in the early morning or late evening generally means that you’ll encounter less traffic on your way. This means you’ll be at a lower risk of having an accident. You’ll also spend less time driving during the hottest times of the day. Additionally, weekends typically have more people on the road, so it may benefit you to plan your extended driving time during the week.
According to AAA, summertime is particularly dangerous for young drivers, with teens aged 16-17 being three times more likely to experience a fatal car crash than an adult. It’s especially important for parents and guardians to model good driving behavior this summer by following the tips above and emphasizing the importance of driving safely.
What If an Accident Happens?
Sometimes, accidents are just unavoidable, no matter how safe you are on the road. If you’ve been injured due to the recklessness of another driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation. It’s recommended to contact a California accident attorney as soon as possible. Speaking with the other driver’s insurance company on your own could cost you thousands of dollars in compensation. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we know how to speak to insurance companies to maximize your claim. We’ll advise you each step of the way.
Depending on the individual circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for compensation for the following:
- Medical bills for immediate or rehabilitative care
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident
- Lost wages for time you had to take off to recover
- Future lost income for debilitating injuries
Every accident is unique, so at the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we treat each case differently. If you retain our firm, we’ll carefully review the details of your accident, including the incident report, witness statements, associated vehicle damage, and medical records. If the insurance company presents you with an offer, we’ll help you determine if it’s fair for your situation. If not, our Bakersfield car accident lawyer will prepare a counter-offer until you can reach a satisfactory agreement. The legal process can be complicated, but you can trust that we’ll be there for you each step of the way.
Contact a Bakersfield Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a car crash this summer, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case, and we are prepared to work hard to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment with our experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney.