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How to Stay Safe on the Road Memorial Day Weekend

Every year, millions of Americans hit the road to visit family and friends for Memorial Day weekend. This means more traffic, and more opportunities for accidents. Here, the car accident lawyers at Alperstein & Diener discuss ways to keep you and your family safe on the road this holiday weekend.

Prepare Before Hitting the Road

Whether you’re driving ten miles, or for ten hours, road trips require preparation to ensure saftey. Make sure car lights are in working order, check and refill necessary fluids, wipe down windshields, and inspect tires for wear and low pressure. The “penny test” is a great way to see if your tires need replacing—if Lincoln’s head is exposed after inserting a penny into the tread of a tire, the tread is too low, and it’s time to purchase new ones.

Keeping the inside of the car clean and free of debris can help prevent distractions while driving, which are a major cause of traffic accidents. Store jumper cables, a pressure gauge, flashlight and carjack in the trunk in case of a breakdown during your trip. Similarly, pack extra water, and a blanket, as you never know where you may break down.

Minimize Distractions and Drive Safely

A car full of children and luggage can distract even the most seasoned driver, but staying focused while on the road is often the difference between a trip that ends well and one that ends in crisis. Bring along coloring books, electronic devices, or other things to keep children occupied while you drive. Your own electronic devices should be stored in your purse or luggage, far away from you—texting and calling while driving is not only illegal in most states, but also a deadly and common cause of accidents. If you wish to have music or the radio on, keep it to a low volume, and have a passenger change the controls when necessary. If you begin to feel tired, pull over and have someone else drive, and never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Stay Alert

Not every driver on the road this holiday weekend will be making the best choices. If you believe another driver is under the influence, or driving recklessly, law enforcement strongly encourages you to pull over and call 9-1-1. Inform the operator that you wish to report a drunk or reckless driver, and when prompted provide the make, model, and license plate number of the car, if possible, as well as a description of the driver and their behavior. If you are experiencing car trouble and must pull over, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible to prevent accidents. If you must exit your vehicle, be alert for others on the shoulder, and keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

By following these basic guidelines, holiday drivers can have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. If, however, you’ve been involved in an automobile accident and require legal assistance, contact Alperstein & Diener today to acquire the assistance of one of our dedicated attorneys, or to schedule a free consultation.