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7 Tips to Avoid Roadway Accidents While Traveling During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time to celebrate traditions, exchange gifts, and reconnect with family and friends. For many, this means hitting the highways for travel to and from family gatherings. While ‘tis the season to be jolly, the grim reality is that the roadways are particularly hazardous during the holidays and often become a place of tragedy. North Carolina had approximately 6613 motor vehicle accidents during 2021 alone, including 48 fatalities.

This year, take precautions before leaving to see loved ones and protect yourself against mayhem. Follow these seven roadway safety tips for a merrier travel experience.

Service Your Car Before Lengthy Road Trips

Many accidents occur due to mechanical failures, which drivers can easily avoid. Take your vehicle in to be serviced by a mechanic you trust before embarking on your journey. In addition, pack a first-aid kit along with essential supplies for emergencies. At a minimum, supplies should include a flashlight, extra batteries, a blanket, collapsible reflective safety cones or triangles, bottled water, and a basic car tool set.

After you hit the road, bathroom and meal breaks are the perfect time to top off the tank and quickly inspect all tires, looking for any sign of damage or low pressure.

Sign Up to Receive Roadside Assistance

Many people never think about roadside assistance until they need it. Preparing in advance for mechanical issues can help avoid big headaches in the long run. Drivers can find roadside assistance service plans by checking with their auto insurance company or third-party providers such as the American Automobile Association (AAA).

In addition to offering roadside services such as fuel, battery service, tire changing, and towing, AAA also provides members with traffic violation legal defense benefits. A card member may select their own attorney and submit a portion of their legal fees for reimbursement. The legal defense benefit is limited to covered traffic violations to which the individual pleads not guilty.

Get Plenty of Rest Before Driving

One of the most crucial steps a driver can take to avoid an accident is to ensure they are well-rested before getting behind the wheel. Everyone in a vehicle is at risk when the person driving is tired and becomes drowsy. The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a 2022 report showing 633 roadway fatalities in 2020 linked to fatigued drivers.

Follow All Passenger Seat Belt and Child Safety Requirements

Make sure everyone buckles up for safety before setting the car in motion. Younger children need to be placed in an age and weight-appropriate car seat or booster. North Carolina law requires that children under the age of eight or weighing less than 80 pounds use a weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system when traveling in a motor vehicle.

Obey All Traffic Laws

Use good sense while on the road. Abide by all traffic laws and posted speed limits. Remember that obeying absolute speed limits is not always enough. North Carolina’s basic speeding law requires drivers to adjust the speed of their vehicles according to roadway and weather conditions so that the rate is never higher than what is reasonable and prudent under the current conditions. Therefore, you can still receive a traffic citation even if you are driving within the posted speed limit if roadway conditions require a slower rate of travel.

Keep Your Attention on the Road

Nine people in the United States are killed daily in crashes linked to distracted driving.

Staying focused while driving can be difficult, especially when traveling long distances. Conversations with passengers, adjusting the radio or navigation system and reaching for a snack or beverage divert eyes and attention from the road, even if only for a few seconds. Especially when traveling at a high rate of speed, like on the freeway, it only takes a fraction of a second for distracted driving to cause an accident.

Avoid Alcohol Before Driving

Factors such as gender, weight, amount of food consumed, medications, and even a person’s current hydration state can affect the rate alcohol is absorbed and metabolized into the body. As such, the safest approach is to avoid alcohol entirely on your day of departure.

Accident Attorney Free Consultation Charlotte, NC

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced car accident attorneys of Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC, at (704) 714-1450 or fill out our online form. There is never a fee for an initial consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. We are conveniently located at 132 N McDowell St, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28204.

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