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8 Road Safety Tips to Keep You Safe This Summer

Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on Jul 14, 2017 in Car Accident

family road tripThere are more drivers on the road in the summer as families take vacations and young drivers are out of school. With more drivers on the road, the potential for traffic accidents that can result in serious injury or death also increases.

That is why Janet, Jenner & Suggs’ trusted Boston car accident lawyers have provided these eight road safety tips that may help keep you and your family safe in the summer:

1. Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

Determine the route you are going to take and any hazards or delays you may encounter, such as inclement weather, construction, heavy traffic or detours.

Calculate how long it will take to reach your destination and allow extra time so you will not be in a rush to get there. Accidents are more likely to occur when drivers are in a rush.  

2. Prepare an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit can help you deal with car trouble and provide food, water and other supplies to last until help arrives. Include the following items in your emergency kit:

  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Flashlights
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Jack for changing tires
  • Duct tape and basic tools
  • Map

3. Always Wear a Seat Belt

Statistics have shown that lives are saved when people wear seat belts. Massachusetts also mandates that motorists and their passengers wear their seat belts (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 13A). Drivers or passengers over 16 years old who do not wear seat belts are subject to a fine.

4. Avoid All Forms of Distracted Driving

Cellphones are one of the most common distractions that cause traffic accidents.

That is why Massachusetts passed the Safe Driving Law. This law prohibits the use of a cellphone to write, send or read electronic messages, emails or instant messages or to use the Internet while operating a vehicle.

All drivers under 18 years old are prohibited from using a cellphone while driving. Violating the law can subject the driver to fines, a license suspension and the requirement to take a safety course.

However, cellphones are not the only driving distraction that causes accidents. You should also avoid these other forms of distracted driving:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking or arguing with passengers
  • Programming a GPS device
  • Adjusting the features of your vehicle such as the radio
  • Looking for a dropped item
  • Personal grooming
  • Paying too much attention to billboards or signs outside

5. Practice Defensive Driving

An effective way to prevent car accidents and increase road safety is to drive defensively. Pay attention to your surroundings and be ready to react to the actions of other drivers.

Some defensive driving tactics include:

  • Keeping a safe following distance
  • Moving out of the way for tailgaters
  • Keeping your eyes on the road
  • Watching for hazards at all times
  • Following the speed limit
  • Following all posted traffic signs and signals
  • Using turn signals when turning or changing lanes
  • Always having an escape plan

6. Avoid Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Drunk driving is a huge problem in Boston and the rest of Massachusetts, according to a report released earlier this year.

Avoid driving in any type of impaired state due to the consumption or use of alcohol, drugs, prescription medications or over-the-counter medications. These can impair your judgment, vision and reaction time, increasing the risk of a dangerous accident.

If you plan on drinking, designate a safe driver before heading out. If you are alone or there are no sober people in your group, use a taxi or rideshare program to get to your destination.

7. Do Not Drive Drowsy

Fatigue or lack of sleep can affect your driving in the same ways alcohol or drugs can, slowing your reaction time and impairing judgment. Fatigue also increases the likelihood of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Try to schedule most of your traveling hours in the daytime to avoid nighttime or early-morning driving. These are typically hours when people are tired.  

Follow these tips to avoid drowsy driving:

  • Monitor your condition before you drive – If you feel sleep-deprived or drowsy from medication, do not drive.
  • Continue monitoring your condition – If you started out fine but are starting to have trouble focusing on the road or keeping your eyes open, pull over to a safe place and take a nap.
  • Have someone else drive – If you cannot find a place to take a nap or you are so tired that a nap might not help, have a non-drowsy passenger drive.

8. Be Extra Cautious in Construction Zones

Construction zones can be dangerous because roadways can be uneven or in various states of disrepair. There can also be detours that bring you closer to oncoming traffic.

If you are approaching a construction zone, expect changes in the flow of traffic and be prepared to slow down or stop completely. Obey all signs in these work zones. Allow for extra commuting time when traveling through known work zones.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys Right Now

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident that was caused by a careless driver, contact our personal injury lawyers in Boston for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

If we determine that you have a case and you decide to proceed with our firm, we will manage your claim on contingency. This means you do not pay for our services until we have successfully recovered compensation.

Contact Janet, Jenner & Suggs right now to find out if we can help you.

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