Hitting the Road for Spring Break? Follow These Tips to Stay Safe
For most universities, colleges and high schools, spring break falls between February and April. This is the time of year students get a break from studying and head out with friends or family to fun destinations. However, Americans should exercise caution if they will be traveling on our nation’s highways during spring break.
Spring break is a heavily traveled time and people should be aware of increased car and truck crashes.
Young people on spring break need to be aware of the dangers of traveling on the nation’s highways:
- Big rigs (tractor-trailers) are not able to stop or maneuver as quickly or as easily as a car. It can take more than the length of two football fields for a fully loaded truck traveling 65 mph to completely stop. Should a crash occur with a tractor trailer, the probability of injury or death in a car is extremely high. Always try to give these large trucks plenty of space. Obviously, smaller trucks and not fully loaded trucks don’t required this stopping distance.
- Avoid night driving. Many people going on road trips leave in the evening so they can arrive at their destination in the morning and enjoy a full first day of their vacation. However, driving at night has its own set of risks. Two of the most obvious risks are darkness and fatigue. Color recognition, depth perception and peripheral vision are worse at night. Drowsiness and resulting fatigue and decreased concentration also pose a substantial risk when driving in the dark.
- Don’t use a seat belt improperly. Seat belts save lives only when worn properly. It may be tempting to adjust your seat belt for comfort on long trips by incorporating some slack in the belt or positioning the shoulder belt behind your back. These adjustments can make your seat belt ineffective and cause severe injury or even death in a collision.
- Never recline your seat. If you recline your seat the seat belt becomes useless. More space between the seat belt and your body increases the risk of serious injury or even death in a collision.
- Always check your tires. The integrity of your tires is very important. The tires may be the most overlooked safety component on a vehicle. Tire age, poor tread wear and depth, and improper inflation are factors that can compromise tire safety. Old tires can be especially dangerous. They can fail even if the tread depth is proper and even if they have never been used before. Tires have a safe and useful life of about six years.
- Avoid distracted driving. Anything that takes your attention away from driving is a distraction. Talking on a cell phone, texting, using the navigation system, eating or applying makeup while driving are all distractions that can endanger the driver and occupants of a car. Even if a state has not outlawed cell phone use or texting while driving, please avoid this activity for your own safety and that of everyone else. Studies have shown that distracted driving significantly increases the likelihood of collisions.
If you are planning on loading up your vehicle with friends or family for a spring break trip, please be sure to check all the above critical safety measures before hitting the road. The attorneys and staff at Riddle & Brantley want your spring break trip to be memorable for the right reasons — not because of tragedy.
In the event of an accident…
We all want our kids, family and friends to be safe traveling during spring break or anytime. But unfortunately, accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been in an accident during spring break vacation or anytime please contact Riddle & Brantley at 1-800-525-7111 or fill out the short form below.
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