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Five Tips for Safe Travel During the Holidays

Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 5:24 pm    

Even though gas prices are up 65 percent for the 2021 holiday season over last year, if the past is an accurate predictor, the majority of U.S. travelers will still choose to drive to their destinations. Early estimates for this year predicted that more than 100 million of our fellow citizens would jump behind the wheel to meet friends and family for holiday get-togethers, fuel costs notwithstanding. Most of us love the independence that being in the driver’s seat provides, but that freedom comes with the responsibility to drive safely.

Have Your Vehicle Inspected Before Your Holiday Trip

Before you take to the road, whether it’s 25 miles or 2,000 miles, your first priority is checking on the condition of the vehicle you plan to use. If you have not had an inspection recently, get one just prior to your journey. The probability of the inspected vehicle getting into an accident is lowest right after the inspection but increases as time passes. A bonus to driving a car that has a clean bill of health is your peace of mind as the driver. No worries about improper wheel alignment or worn brake pads.

What Does a Typical Vehicle Inspection Checklist Include?

The state of Washington does not require passenger car safety inspections. But if you are concerned about your car’s ability to get you to your destination safely, a qualified mechanic will check the following:

  • Air filters
  • Brakes
  • Engine
  • Fluids
  • Filters
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Steering mechanism
  • Safety restraints
  • Tires
  • Transmission
  • Wipers
  • Window glass

As part of the inspection, the mechanic will also ensure that your car’s VIN, registration, and insurance information are up to date and easy to locate. Now you are ready to drive!

Five Tips to Keep You Safe

When you know you’re going to travel, keep these tips in mind to help you reach your destination safely.

Don’t Drive While Distracted: The environment in your vehicle as well as your actions while driving impact the safety of you and your passengers while you are on the road. Distracted driving kills eight people daily in car accidents in the U.S. Distractions include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Scrolling through your entertainment system
  • Using your cell phone
  • Loud conversations

Don’t Drive While Impaired: Impaired driving refers to driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Approximately 29 people die daily in crashes involving alcohol in the U.S. Both illegal and prescription drugs can cause unsafe driving, just like drunk driving can. Driving while impaired has a negative impact on your:

  • Vision
  • Attentiveness
  • Motor skills
  • Decision-making ability

Don’t Drive Without Checking the Weather Conditions: Before embarking on your holiday trek, check the weather where you are starting out and along the route where you will be driving, all the way to your destination. Every year, more than 1.2 million crashes are related to weather. The following adverse weather conditions, which vary depending on your geographic location, can cause traffic accidents:

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • High Winds
  • Rain
  • Fog
  • Water level
  • Pavement conditions

Don’t Drive Faster Than the Posted Speed Limits: With so many drivers on the road during the holidays, don’t allow yourself to become impatient and drive too fast. Speed limits are determined by transportation engineers. The design of the road and how fast a majority of drivers travel on that type of road are factored into the determination of the speed limit. Ignoring these posted limits can increase the risk of an accident. Speed limits for the following types of roads and highways vary by state, so be alert to any changes while on your road trip:

  • Unpaved
  • Country
  • Urban
  • Suburban
  • State
  • Interstate
  • Toll

Don’t Drive When You Are Tired: Although it is not yet possible to pinpoint how many traffic accidents are related to drowsy driving, experts agree that people can be injured or die when a tired driver gets into an accident. On the bright side, driving while tired is preventable. To ensure a safe journey, do the following before you get behind the steering wheel:

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
  • Check medications that may induce drowsiness
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

Why Should You Call the Personal Injury Attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs if You Have Been in an Accident?

If you or a family member is seriously injured in a traffic accident due to another person’s negligence during the holidays, or at any other time, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs at (253) 588-6696 to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can also fill out our contact form for a prompt reply from a member of our legal team.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. There are no upfront costs, and we don’t get paid unless you do. Our attorneys specialize in achieving the best outcomes possible for our personal injury clients. Since 1925 our firm has worked hard for victims and their families, and that kind of experience is hard to beat. Call today.

How to Prevent Autumn Car Accidents

Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2021 at 12:10 am    

As autumn approaches, the days get shorter, and the temperature begins to drop. These factors, in combination with heavier holiday traffic, can contribute to an increase in vehicle accidents in the fall. Each year, hundreds of people are injured in accidents around the nation as a result of the changing seasons. With a few simple steps, you can avoid being involved in such an accident and can protect both yourself and your loved ones.

Be Aware of External Conditions

There are many factors outside of your vehicle that can be dangerous to any driver who is not paying attention. One such factor might be the weather conditions. As the temperatures begin to get cooler, frozen precipitation and black ice on the roads become more common. These conditions may be hazardous to drivers who are not actively avoiding them.

Another external factor that may present a hazard is the shortened days. As Daylight Saving Time ends, the sun sets earlier, and the roads become dark. There are several ways you can prepare for the shorter days of autumn. Be sure that your vehicle’s headlights are in proper condition, both your regular lights and your brights, so that you will be able to see clearly at night. It’s also important that you visit your optometrist to ensure your vision is in the best condition for driving at night.

With the approach of major holidays, the flow of traffic between cities and across the country is greatly increased. In order to allow for the heightened number of motorists on the road, it’s important to remain fully aware and alert as you drive this fall.

Practice Safe Driving Habits

While external factors may contribute to a motor vehicle accident, there are several practices you can engage in as you get behind the wheel this autumn that can help keep you safe. One important thing to do is to remain alert at all times. There are a few things that may distract you from focusing on the road. Some examples include:

  • Drowsy driving: operating a motor vehicle requires focus. If you have not had the proper amount of sleep, you’re putting not only yourself in danger but the other motorists with whom you share the road.
  • Distracted driving: driving without focusing on the road can be very dangerous. Things like cell phone use, looking at GPS navigation, and talking to passengers can all be distracting to a driver and potentially hazardous to others on the road.
  • Drunk/drugged driving: not only is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol dangerous, but it’s also against the law. Those who drive under the influence experience blurred vision, impaired judgment, and loss of depth perception, which can be very dangerous.

Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained

There are several important steps you can take to make sure your vehicle is functioning properly this autumn. One important safety measure is to check your windshield wipers. With more frequent precipitation, it’s important to have your windshield wipers installed and functioning correctly so that you can have clear visibility at all times.

Another safety measure you can take is to check your tires. You’ll want to make sure the tread on your tires has not worn down, as this can make driving on slippery surfaces hazardous. It’s also important to check your tire pressure. Cooler temperatures can affect the pressure of your tires, so you’ll want to use a tire pressure gauge to make sure the psi (pounds per square inch) of your tires match the recommended amount listed on the sticker inside the driver’s side door or in the driver’s manual.

What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are several important things you can do. First, call for medical attention if you need it. Also, call the authorities and report the accident. Take pictures of the scene, including any injuries you sustain and your damaged property. Avoid talking to anyone at the scene more than is necessary, except to exchange insurance information. Finally, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs to connect with one of our attorneys and discuss your motor vehicle accident case.

Need Help? Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you know how difficult it can be to go through the process of gathering evidence, communicating with the other involved parties, and building a compelling vehicle accident case.

Luckily, the Lakewood personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are more than prepared to help you pursue the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today at (253) 588-6696 to discuss your circumstances. We’ll help you determine the best course of action as you pursue the justice you deserve.