The unofficial start to summer is looming on the horizon- Memorial Day. And to celebrate with friends and family, more than 31 million people will take to U.S. highways that weekend. Unfortunately, all that extra traffic has the potential to make your family getaway anything but enjoyable. In fact, Memorial Day weekend starts the 100 deadliest days of summer for teenage drivers.
There are, however, some ways you can mitigate the tension and keep yourself safe from devastating accidents. Below you’ll find some useful tips for staying safe on the road this memorial day weekend:
Perform Pre-travel Vehicle Maintenance. Inspect your tires for sufficient tread and pressure. Make sure all fluid levels are topped up. Don’t underestimate the importance of clean mirrors and windows. Sudden summer downpours could spell big trouble if your windshield is already grimy or if your wiper blades are excessively worn. Also, when packing your vehicle, remember to position items so they won’t become projectiles in the event of a sudden stop or collision, and they won’t obscure the visibility of the driver.
Travel During Off-Hours. At peak traffic times, such as lunch and rush hour, try to steer clear of city centers and congested interstate exchanges. If at all possible, take an extra day off from work or travel at night. After sundown, heat will be less of a factor on your comfort and your car’s performance. Large trucks will be fewer in number overnight, plus, it will be easier to get the kids to relax, and maybe even go to sleep.
Swap Out Drivers. Regardless of the distance- the average for summer travel is 690 miles- rotating drivers is always prudent. That way, everyone will get a chance to stretch out, have a snack, or catch a little nap. Switching drivers every two to three hours- more often when traffic is especially bad- will keep all drivers refreshed and more attentive. It will also keep drivers from zoning out or getting fatigued. Swapping out drivers is especially important during long trips and during the night or early morning hours.
Pack Wisely. Anyone experienced at traveling with kids knows you can never have too many snacks. Handy snacks keep everyone happy and alleviate the anxiety associated with being hungry while stuck in the car. This can also reduce the distractions in the car from having to deal with hungry and upset children. In fact, dealing with passenger distractions is a major cause of accidents each and every year!
Make Stops Along the Way. Swapping out drivers on a regular basis naturally facilitates stops. However, with a little extra planning or good fortune, you can time those stops around something interesting. Historical or natural landmarks, even the world’s largest ball of twine will make a memorable photo opportunity and give everyone time to get a snack and stretch their legs before continuing to your destination.
Never Drink and Drive. Sometimes it can be tempting to have a few drinks at a Memorial Day barbecue or family gathering. BUT if you are the designated driver, it is important to say NO. Never get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you have been drinking. In the State of Colorado, the BAC legal limit is just 0.08%. You owe it to yourself, your family, and the rest of the drivers on the road to drive responsibly and not drunk. If you do find yourself unable to drive, consider calling a cab or Uber to take you home.
Never Text and Drive. When you are running late for a Memorial Day event, it may seem like a good idea to text that you are running late. Never text and drive or use your phone while you are driving. Distracted driving is on the rise and texting is a MAJOR reason why. Instead, ask your passengers to send the message for you. If you are driving alone, pull over into a parking spot to send your text. Or better yet, don’t send it at all. Texting is dangerous when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
At Fuicelli & Lee, we want all of Denver drivers to arrive at their destinations safely. This Memorial Day weekend, take the pledge to drive safely and responsibly. If you are injured in a car accident, however, we will be on your side from the very start. Contact the Denver Law Firm of Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. today at 303-597-4500 for a free initial consultation.
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