While winter and the holidays are a joyful time of year, it is also a dangerous time of year on the nation’s roadways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car and other motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of fatalities for people ages 1 to 54 — with more than thirty-seven thousand deaths resulting from accidents in the U.S. last year alone.
Whether you’re going to holiday parties or traveling to see friends and family over the holidays, these tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe:
- • Check your vehicle before road trips. Regular vehicle maintenance is important to keep you safe when you travel. Before a long trip, have your battery, tires, brakes, engine hoses, lights, and windshield wiper blades inspected. Also, make sure the windshield washer and other fluids are full.
- • Prepare an emergency kit. Having a few emergency essentials in your vehicle can help in the event you slide off the road in an area that’s not well-traveled. That should include a cellphone charger, flashlight with batteries, drinking water, snacks, jumper cables, a blanket, extra warm clothing, and contact information for roadside assistance.
- • Know where you’re going. Plan your route ahead of time. If you’ll be traveling in a major metropolitan area where heavy traffic is likely, try to plan your travel so you avoid rush-hour commuters.
- • Always use your seat belt. Seat belts are a must every time you travel, no matter how long or short the distance.
- • Keep young passengers safe. Make sure infant and toddler car seats are properly buckled, and that all children under age 12 are in the backseat and have their seat belts fastened appropriately.
Accidents Can Happen in the Blink of an Eye
Of course, no matter how careful you are, car accidents can still occur. If you are involved in an accident, try to stay calm as you wait for help to arrive.
It’s also important to seek prompt medical attention, even if you think your injuries were relatively minor. You may have suffered injuries that simply aren’t immediately obvious.
If you are injured as the result of a car or other vehicle accident while traveling this holiday season, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Gerber Injury Law in Phoenix, Arizona to schedule a free consultation.