The summer is full of occasions to spend time with friends and family at beaches, cookouts, or other fun activities. These summer adventures can often require a lot of driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there is an increase of vehicles on highways and that there were 377 crash-related deaths during Memorial Day 2012 alone. Here is some advice on how to keep your family safe during summer vacation.
Driving Tips To Avoid Summer Car Accidents
First, always ensure that your vehicle is being driven by an unimpaired driver. If you are going to a cookout or other event where alcohol will be served, be cautious of your consumption. One standard drink is considered 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor (such as whiskey or vodka). In general, a healthy liver can metabolize one drink per hour. You can help avoid getting intoxicated by ensuring you continue to eat while drinking and also drinking a full glass of water between alcoholic drinks. If you do drink, do not risk your life or others’. Call a cab, find out if there is a public transportation route home, or have a completely sober friend drive you. More than 10,000 people died of alcohol-related crashes in 2012.
This summer you can prevent that number from rising. Second, stay aware of weather conditions. Summer thunderstorms can come down hard and fast, causing roads to become slick and dangerous. Rain reduces visibility, and heavy rain reduces it even more. Stay where you are until the rain stops. Otherwise, drive slowly to avoid hydroplaning on slick roads, do not jerk the steering wheel or try to break suddenly, and slow down when approaching large puddles. Besides heavy summer rains, remember that cars heat up very quickly. For example, a car left in 80° outside temperature can heat up to 109° on the inside after only 20 minutes. Do not ever leave pets or children in a car in hot weather. As of June 2014, 9 children have died from car-related heat stroke. Also, when getting ready to travel somewhere, use the windows or the air conditioning to cool the car to a comfortable temperature before getting in. Check your radiator frequently to make sure the water level is not low due to rising temperatures. Finally, an easy way to not burn your legs on hot car seats is to leave a towel on your seat.
Hydration Saves Lives in Summer Driving Accidents
Third, stay hydrated. It is not something often thought of when thinking of car safety, but dehydration, particularly in the summer months, can have unsafe consequences. Symptoms of dehydration can include dizziness or light-headedness, headaches, fatigue, and in more severe cases, it can cause irritability and confusion and even loss of consciousness. All of these physical symptoms can have effects on your driving. Avoid these dangers by drinking plenty of water.
Call An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one is unfortunately in a summer accident, call an experienced motor vehicle attorney. Neil Burns has been representing families of victims of car accidents since 1985. There is always a free initial consultation and there is no fee until we win.