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Staying Safe on Holiday Weekends

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 26, 2019 in Car Accidents

using phone while drivingHeading into the Fourth of July weekend, it’s important to keep safety at the front of your mind. There’s always an uptick in car crashes on holiday weekends, and while some of that is due to the greater number of cars on the road, you should also be mindful of specific dangers that arise on holiday weekends. Here are a few key safety tips.

Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is always on the rise on holiday weekends (and throughout the summer, for that matter). In fact, it’s a bigger hazard than driving drunk.

While there are many types of distractions behind the wheel, cell phone use is likely the most dangerous. Never text when behind the wheel and make sure you put your phone down while driving. If you have to make a call or send a message, find a safe place to park or pull over first. Remember, after you send a text or read an email, your brain remains distracted for about half a minute, so take a few moments to re-focus on driving before getting back on the road.

If you’re going out of town for the holiday weekend, you may need to use a GPS device. It’s important to remember that GPS is a distraction, and many accidents are caused by drivers who are looking at the GPS instead of the road. The best solution is to have an adult passenger navigate using the GPS while you focus on driving. If you’re traveling alone, learn the route ahead of time and use the GPS audio to navigate. Don’t take your eyes off the road!

Be aware of your physical and mental state

This is the obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning: Drinking and driving is a major factor in holiday weekend car accidents. You should definitely have a designated driver, but also keep in mind that alcohol increases your risk of injury while you’re on foot, too.

An underrated factor in holiday weekend accidents is fatigue. When you deviate from your routine and stay up late socializing, you are at risk of making a mistake behind the wheel. Taking the wheel on less than five hours of sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk. If you find yourself fatigued, the only real solution is actually getting a night’s sleep; having a coffee or energy drink may hold off fatigue for a short time, but your body’s need for sleep will ultimately take over. Park or pull over as soon as possible and get some sleep.

Be vigilant on the road

At the end of the day, the only driver you can control is yourself. When on the road during a holiday weekend, keep in mind that other motorists may be drunk or distracted. They may be tired, especially late in the day or early in the morning. They may be far from home and unfamiliar with the roads — and focusing on their GPS instead of the road. The only thing you can do is stay alert and drive defensively.

While it’s important to take steps to protect yourself, it’s also important to know what to do in the event of a crash. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend, and remember that we’re here for you if you’re injured by someone else’s negligence. Contact the car accident attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.