red car driving along the coast

Staying Safe on the Roadways

One might think it is odd for a personal injury attorney to want to help keep people safe and away from harm’s way, but that is exactly what this blog post is all about. We want to provide you with safe driving tips so that you and your loved ones can stay safe on the roadways as more people are driving than flying due to the ongoing pandemic.

In addition to increased travel on the roadways, unfortunately, when it comes to drinking and driving, the summertime can lead to dangerous roadways at times. Despite having the best weather and driving conditions of the year, summer is also home to the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers, as well as major holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day when people overindulge at times. With inexperienced drivers zipping around town, tourists on summer road trips, and many people overindulging in alcohol, the summer holidays can be one of the most dangerous times of the year.

What Are the “100 Deadliest Days”

AAA has dubbed the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. According to BACtrack and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 5.8% of teens aged 16 and 17 and 15.1% of 18- to 20-year-olds reported driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in 2010.

Younger drivers are also less experienced and more prone to distracted driving behaviors, like texting and driving.

Summer Holiday Stats

Between June 1 and August 31, 2015, a total of 2,824 people lost their lives to drunk driving accidents. Boating under the influence (BUI) also contributed to 355 injuries and 133 deaths in 2016, and 50% of boating crashes involve drugs and alcohol.

Holiday-specific stats from SCRAM Systems include:

  • Over Memorial Day weekend, 40% of crashes involve drunk drivers and drinking-related hospital visits increase by 11%.
  • The Fourth of July is the 3rd most popular drinking day over the year, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 780 drunk driving deaths over the July 4th holiday between 2012 and 2016.
  • Forty percent (40%) of traffic deaths during the Labor Day holiday involve alcohol and 44% of fatalities among motorists ages 18-34 involve drivers with BACs above .08.

How to take Precautions

Defense driving is one of the most sound ways to ensure you and your loved ones are safe on the roadways. That always includes being aware of your surroundings and making sure that the driving conditions in your own vehicle are such that you are not distracted and that you are able to focus, fully, on the roadways.

Always, always, always, wear your seat belt and ensure that everyone in your vehicle is properly buckled too. If one person in a vehicle is unbuckled and a collision occurs then that unrestrained person can become a projectile in the vehicle, injuring others.

Also, be mindful of cars approaching you – are they hovering over into your lane ahead of you, if so, look to the side for places to take evasive maneuvers if you must. Also, do not hesitate to utilize your horn to alert the other driver of their dangerous ways. Too often, people are looking at their phone and are not paying attention to the roadways.

If a vehicle has a pattern of swerving or driving outside of their lane, make sure to keep your distance or even take an alternate path or just pull off the roadway to another road to allow this hazardous driver to not be near you. Also, if you witness this and feel there is an ongoing hazard to you and the motoring public don’t hesitate to contact the authorities through a hands-free mode of communication.

It should go without saying, but please put your phone down when you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Phone use and distracted driving cause so many serious collisions and serious injuries. Even be mindful when you use hands-free technology because believe it or not there is a heightened degree of distraction just by speaking to someone on a hands-free device in your vehicle.

Make sure your vehicle has been regularly maintained so that your tires’ pressure is sound as are all of the working components of your vehicle.

For more information please check out the NHTSA’s Summer Driving Tips.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line here is that we just want you to be safe. We know that completely erasing all incidents on the roadways is not feasible, but we do hope that you and the rest of the motoring public might have gathered a helpful tip here so that possibly we have helped in even a small way in keeping the roadways safe.

Please be sure to stay focused and sober and exercise extra caution and utilize defense driving.

However, if something does occur and you or a loved one are caused to suffer a serious injury by the actions of another, whether it is an individual or a corporation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC so that you receive the utmost in legal representation after a serious injury.

While nothing we can do will change what happened, we will fight for you to make sure what happened is handled so that you can receive the fair and just compensation you deserve. We treat our clients like family.

All you need to do is call us at (706) 760-9220 or contact us online and tell us what happened today.

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