Summer is here, and while this means an increased risk of auto accidents in South Carolina in general, as restrictions related to COVID-19 continue to be relaxed, there is a very good chance that we will see a particularly high number of vehicle collisions in the Palmetto State this summer. More traffic, more stress, and more anticipation for getting out of the house are all factors that increase risk, and this means that all drivers will need to be especially careful to avoid mistakes that put others in harm’s way.
Unfortunately, even safe drivers are not immune to being injured or having their loved ones harmed in a collision. Despite the risks involved, some people are still going to drive dangerously. Some people are going to drive drunk, some people are going to use their phones behind the wheel, and some people are going to make careless mistakes that prove to have life-altering consequences.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Being Involved in a Car Accident This Summer?
With this in mind, what can you do to reduce your risk of being involved in a serious auto accident this summer? Here are 10 tips from our Rock Hill, SC car accident attorneys:
Tip #1: Make a Conscious Decision to Drive Safely
Before you hit the road, make a conscious decision to drive safely. Decide that you are going to be safe, not try to rush, and not unnecessarily put yourself or anyone else at risk of being seriously injured in a collision. Many organizations, such as the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), offer safe driving pledges that you can take for free. While this is an option (and ASIRT’s pledge offers some good additional tips), you can also simply make a personal commitment that you are not going to contribute to creating dangerous situations on South Carolina’s roads.
Tip #2: Drive During Off-Peak Hours When Possible
If you can avoid driving during peak traffic hours, this can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. Studies show that the morning and evening commutes are among the most dangerous times to drive, even during the summer months. If you do not need to be at your destination at a specific time (or if you can plan to get there early), then driving during off-peak hours will allow you to avoid much of the congestion that increases the risk for vehicle collisions.
Tip #3: Check the Weather Before You Leave
Weather is a common factor in many summertime car accidents in South Carolina as well. Heavy rainstorms can reduce visibility to just a few yards, and they can cause the roads to become very slippery. Checking the forecast before you leave can help you avoid weather-related accidents, and it can make your drive much more pleasant as well.
Tip #4: Avoid Aggressive Drivers
Aggressive drivers are a fact of life. If someone is tailgating you or trying to get your attention through the window, the best thing you can do is simply ignore them. Slow down, and let them go on their way.
Tip #5: Leave Your Phone Alone
Cell phone use is a leading cause of car accidents in South Carolina, and during the summer months, people use their phones behind the wheel for a variety of different reasons. From locals making plans with friends and family to vacationers trying to figure out where they are going, distracted drivers are a hazard to everyone else on the road. To make sure you do not get distracted behind the wheel, make your plans ahead of time, and find a safe place to pull over if you need to make an urgent call.
Tip #6: Follow the Rules of the Road
In addition to staying off of your phone, it is important to follow the other rules of the road as well. Among other things, this means obeying the speed limit, coming to a complete stop at stop signs, and slowing down when see a yellow light. These rules exist for a reason, and following them will significantly reduce your risk of being at fault in a collision.
Tip #7: Make Sure You Know Where You are Going
While it has become fairly common for drivers to rely on GPS directions over the past decade or so, navigating still presents a distraction from the road ahead. As a result, it is a good idea to make sure you know your route in advance; and, if you need to rely on GPS directions, turn on voice navigation so that you can remain focused on the road ahead.
Tip #8: Do Not Drink and Drive
There is no excuse for getting drunk and then getting behind the wheel. It is extremely important to always drink responsibly; and, if you will be consuming alcohol somewhere other than your house or apartment, make sure you have a safe ride home in advance.
Tip #9: Try to Avoid Driving if You are Sick
In some cases, driving while sick can be dangerous as well. If your symptoms include fatigue, grogginess, or muscle aches, getting behind the wheel could be dangerous. Likewise, if you are taking any medications, be sure to read the label and consult with your pharmacist to make sure you know whether it is safe to drive.
Tip #10: Know What to Do if You are Involved in a Collision
Finally, in the event that you are involved in a car accident, it is important to know what you need to do. There are steps you should take at the scene of the accident and after you get home, and taking these steps promptly can be important to protecting your legal rights.
Contact a Rock Hill, SC Car Accident Lawyer at Lewis Law Firm LLC
Lewis Law Firm LLC is a Rock Hill, SC personal injury law firm our accident attorneys represents car accident victims statewide. We provide free initial consultations, and we do not charge any fees or costs unless we win just compensation. For more information, call us at 803-327-1103 or tell us how we can help online today.