Holiday travel season is nearly upon us. While the 2022 holidays are an incredible season of love and joy, they also bring crowded interstates, people speeding to make it to celebrations on time, and other travel dangers. Every year, the New Jersey car accident injury attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates like to remind our readers that there is a lot you can do to prevent fatal traffic accidents and stay safe during the holidays. I’ll give you our top tips below.
Tip #1: Have Your Car Checked Out
A sudden flat tire or a windshield wiper that flies off in the rain isn’t just a nuisance: if you’re traveling a long distance at a high speed, even a small, unexpected incident can result in a serious accident. This is why it’s essential to take the time to take your car in for a quick tune-up and safety check before you get behind the wheel for the holidays.
Even a basic tuneup involves checking the brakes, ensuring that your fluid levels are sufficient, and making sure your belts are in good working order. The small cost in time and money is certainly worth the peace of mind and safety a tune-up can provide!
Tip #2: Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is among the top causes of serious accidents in New Jersey and across the country. As all parents know, when your vehicle is full of kids and you’re on a long drive, things can get very distracting very quickly. Even reaching for your cell phone or changing the radio station can divide your attention from often-heavy holiday traffic and put you at risk for a serious accident. Many people don’t realize that checking a text takes your eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds, which, if you are traveling at the interstate speed limit, is the length of an entire football field.
If you are traveling with someone for the holidays, put them in charge of your cell phone and of handling other distracting situations that arise. This will keep you focused on the road and keeping your passengers safe. If you have an accident due to another driver’s distracted driving, a Northern New Jersey car accident attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates can help.
Tip #3: Never Drive Under the Influence
Alcohol-impaired driving contributes to tens of thousands of deaths per year, making it a top cause of serious accidents. As we all know, the holidays are times for celebration, and it can be easy to get carried away during a festive gathering. Always designate a sober driver, call a ride share service, or plan ahead to stay overnight if you know you will be drinking or using other illicit substances.
Tip #4: Travel at a Safe Speed for the Conditions
While we’d all love for holiday travel to be a calm experience, in reality we’re often stressed about last-minute cooking and gift-buying, and frequently running late as we try to get to the festivities on time. During the holidays, the vast majority of drivers on the road are likely having similar experiences. This can result in many vehicles traveling at high speeds, which exponentially increases your risk for a serious or fatal accident.
On a related note, always check the weather before you get in the car, and delay travel if you need to. Make it a point to travel at a safe speed for the weather conditions, even if you are running late. It’s better to be late than to suffer a major accident because you were driving too fast.
Tip #5: Keep Kids Safe
Car crashes are a top cause of death among children, so making sure your kids are safely secured in the car is essential. Buckle up kids in car seats and booster seats, and require that any child under the age of 12 wear a seatbelt, even in the backseat. This step alone reduces the risk of major injuries or death by up to 80 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s also crucial to use car seats properly. Remove your kids’ coats so you can fully tighten the harness and safely secure them. If a child is cold, place a blanket over top of them in their car seat.
When Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Northern New Jersey?
We hope that your holidays are filled with love and joy, and that these tips will help you stay safe on the road.
If you do suffer an accident during holiday travel, it can be in your best interest to touch base with a Northern New Jersey car accident attorney. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we believe in treating each and every client like family. We can help with everything from negotiating with insurance companies to fighting for your rights after a serious accident that was not your fault.
Aren’t sure whether you have a case?
Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.