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Safe Driving Tips for the Memorial Day Weekend

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Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer for most Idaho families. However, Memorial Day weekend is renown for traffic accidents and fatalities due to the increase in the number of drivers traveling during the holiday weekend. Last year during the Memorial Day Weekend, there were 137 vehicle collisions reported in Idaho with 79 people injured and 2 fatalities. To avoid being a statistic consider the following safety tips while traveling during the holiday weekend:

Slow down

Speed kills. A vehicle traveling 70 mph on the interstate is driving 102.67 feet per second. That’s the distance of over a football field in just 3 seconds. The faster you drive, the less time you have to react to a hazard on the road.

Don’t tailgate and avoid driving aggressively

Tailgating and aggressive driving result in creating an emotional state that clouds judgment for you and other drivers on the road. Instead of focusing on the road and road conditions, aggressive driving results in tempers flaring and less attention to road conditions that create an atmosphere that results in taking your attention away from driving safely to trying to get the attention of another driver. In just one second of driving with your eyes off the road, you have traveled 102.67 feet without focusing your attention on the road.

Avoid Distracted Driving

There are a number of activities that you should avoid while driving that take your focus of attention away from hazards on the road including:

– texting

– operating a cell phone

– eating

– putting on makeup

– combing your hair

– attending to other personal hygiene

– changing radio or satellite stations

– tailgating

– using GPS or map devices

– driving aggressively

– driving while overly tired

– attending to children while driving

– driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication

Last year, during the Memorial Day weekend, distracted driving was reported to have caused approximately 33 crashes in Idaho.

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan published in the journal, Academic Pediatrics, revealed that of the 590 adults surveyed, over 75% admitted to driving while distracted during a time they were transporting a child in the vehicle. Beside putting children at risk by driving, statistics show that children are 2 to 4 times more likely to drive while distracted if they occupy a vehicle where their parents model drive while distracted grow up to also drive while distracted, too, once they obtain a driver’s license.

Designate a driver

If you have consumed an alcoholic beverage or ingested either a prescription medication or illegal drug, and then drive a motor vehicle, you put at risk yourself and others to injury or death. Therefore, it is wise to designate another driver should you be included to drink alcohol or take any medication or illegal drugs that have mind altering capabilities.

Wear your Safety Belt (Seat Belt and Shoulder Harness)

The use of seat belts are reported to save thousands of lives each year. Idaho State Police and other local law enforcement officers are enforcing Idaho’s seat belt laws on a 24/7 basis. Setting aside the risk of injury and death for a moment for not wearing a seat belt, it is wise to wear the seat belt to avoid getting a ticket and having to pay a fine.

Allow Enough Time to Arrive at Your Destination 

Before you leave home to go anywhere, make sure you leave early enough to arrive on time. If yourself more time so that you aren’t pressured to drive faster than the speed limit or use other aggressive unsafe driving tactics to hasten your arrival including weaving in and out of traffic or other aggressive driving tactics.

Stay Alert

Get enough sleep before you drive. This can insure your ability to stay alert while driving. Sleep deprivation. Last year, over 8 crashes were reported in Idaho due to a driver’s drowsiness and inability to stay awake while driving.

Get enough sleep before driving. Sleep deprivation and fatigue causes inattentive driving and slowed awareness and impaired judgment.

Share The Road

Be vigilant in lookout out for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. The better rule is to "look twice" for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians and allow safe distances when attempting to pass them.

Move Over for Emergency Response Vehicles

Each year, police, firemen and paramedics are exposed to injuries while doing their job, because a motorist fails to take precaution while driving around them. Idaho has enacted a "move over" law to protect those who risk their lives in protected the public while doing their jobs.

If you or a loved one are injured as a result of another person’s negligence during the holiday or otherwise, it would be wise for you to seek a free initial consultation with an experienced trial lawyer to ascertain your legal rights and remedies. Boise Personal Injury and Auto Accident Trial Lawyer Alan Morton has over 31 years of experience in helping victims of injury and death seek compensation for their injuries and damages arising from auto accidents, motorcycle collisions and bicycle wrecks. You can reach Mr. Morton at 208.344.5555, toll free at 888.716.8021 or through his online contact form.

Drive safely this holiday season. The life you save may be your own!

Category: Auto Accidents

Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer

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