This spring break, it’s important to make safety your top priority as you prepare for busier highways as motorists make their way to beaches, lakes, and other warm water destinations. Increased traffic often accompanies spring break, and we urge drivers to obey all traffic laws and drive responsibly during their travels. Here are a few ways you can keep you and your family safe while you travel during spring break.
Don’t Drink and Drive
If your activities include consuming alcohol, plan beforehand to make sure you have a designated driver to escort you and your party back home safely. There are plenty of ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft that can give you a ride home. If you are the designated driver, commit to your responsibility, and do not drive intoxicated.
Buckle Up––It’s the Law
Every vehicle comes equipped with a seatbelt, and for a good reason. Seat belts are designed to not only keep you from being thrown from your vehicle, but also to absorb the impact of a crash. You must wear both your lap belt and your shoulder belt for the best bodily protection. Remember—“if you don’t click it, you will get a ticket.”
In 2019, distracted driving accounted for 8.5% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes. Anything that takes your focus off of the road is a danger to you and your passengers. Distracted driving isn’t just limited to texting and driving––eating, fiddling with your GPS, or turning the radio dial are all distracting activities that could result in an accident. Remember, keep your eyes on the road to ensure you and your passengers arrive at your destination unharmed.
Don’t Recline Your Seat
On a long road trip, it’s tempting to recline your car seat to maximize comfort in a cramped vehicle. You should keep in mind, though, that reclining your seat makes your seatbelt essentially useless, and will hinder it from protecting you in the event of a car accident. More space between you and the seatbelt increases the risk of an injury or, in severe cases, death. If you need a break, consider pulling into a rest stop to get out and stretch before getting back into the car.
Use the Left Lane for Passing Only
On multi-lane highways, use the left lane for passing only. All 50 states permit drivers to use the left lane for passing for no more than 1.5 miles. Not only is this a courteous gesture, but it allows traffic to move more smoothly. Hogging the left lane can cause traffic to build up, and increases the risk of an accident. Driving slowly in the left lane seems like it keeps would-be speeders from causing an accident, but it’s more dangerous than you think. If in doubt, stay in the right lane.
Many people drive as if they’ll never make it to their destinations on time. This behavior is reckless, and not only increases the risk of an accident, but makes it more likely that the accident will be fatal––especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic, and unfamiliar places. There is a direct correlation between speeding and serious crashes on highways. Do the right thing. Don’t speed.
Spring break should be a time of relaxing and recuperating––not filling out a traffic infraction or insurance document. Follow these spring break safety tips to minimize the chance of an accident getting in the way of your time with family and friends.
For more legal advice and support, contact Wettermark Keith today.