Tips For Safe Driving While On Vacation

Car on a mapDuring the cold and snowy winter months, many people travel to vacation homes or rentals down in the warmer southern states. Southern locals call them “snowbirds” because they flock down south during the northern cold and are quick to go back home when the south starts heating up. The increase of drivers on the roads leads to more traffic, aggressive driving, and inevitable car accidents.

To avoid conflicts when you simply want to relax and stay warm, you should take these tips into consideration:

Know Where You’re Going

It is understandable that you don’t know where all your destinations are while you’re on vacation. However, that’s why you should always plan ahead. It is easy to be caught off guard and realize you have to make a right turn when you are in the far-left lane on the road. Instead of cutting across three lanes of traffic and risking an accident, search where you’re going before leaving. Apps are available on your phone as well as resources readily available on your computer. A simple Google search will show you exactly where you need to go so you have a clear understanding of where you are headed.

State Rules

Different states and cities have different road rules. For example, some states require you to drive on the right lane of a highway to leave the left lane for drivers that are passing only. Other states don’t have such a rule. To avoid car accidents and being pulled over by the police, you should always make sure you know the law of the state you are driving in. You can Google search the state’s driving laws or call the non-emergency local police number for answers and explanations when you’re unsure of a specific law.

Aggressive Driving

You will likely drive slower when you are in an unfamiliar place. However, there are many locals that will not be so understanding. Locals need to go to work, appointments, and school. They know where they are going because they have likely lived there for quite some time. They may be quick to drive aggressively and be frustrated when a non-local doesn’t drive like the other locals. Be aware of your surroundings and prepared for this possibility.

Distracted Driving

In addition to aggressive driving, it is easy for locals who are comfortable with the local roads to check their social media or text while driving. No matter how much phone usage is prohibited while driving, you can still be the unfortunate person that runs into a cell phone user while driving (literally). In fact, many car accidents have occurred within a few miles of people’s homes that are involved. This is because of the false notion that because you are close to home, it’s safe to start unwinding and using your phone. As with aggressive drivers, be conscious that there are people that will not follow the law.

Contact Us

At O’Brien, we care about our clients and want them to have safe vacations. If you are ever in a car accident, contact our skilled attorneys that can help you receive compensation. Call us today: (716) 907-7777.

Pedestrian Safety

A pedestrian crossover sign with sky as backgroundAs we continue to enjoy the summer months, we believe it is appropriate to consider the importance of pedestrian safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die than passenger vehicle occupants in a car crash. Below are a few simple tips and tricks to increase safety.

Keep Your Head Up!

“Distracted walking” is now an identified risk. Whether missing the curb, not noticing the fire hydrant, or failing to hear a passing car, distracted walking can lead to injury or death. Most distracted walking can be attributed to people looking at their phones.

Whether responding to a text message, playing a game, or searching for data, walking and cell phones are a dangerous, sometimes even deadly combination. Put the phone away while you are walking. If you need to use the phone, stop walking and step out of the path of traffic. Attend to your cell phone needs, then return to walking.

Be Visible

32 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 pm and midnight. Many people give little thought to what they are wearing when they go for a walk. However, particularly at night or in low light conditions, such as dawn and dusk, light colored and reflective clothing can be a life saver. Additionally, consider carrying a flashlight. Even a small light makes pedestrians easier to see.

Stay in well lit areas. When selecting a walking route, particularly when crossing the street, consider brightly lit areas. Use the cross walks, rather than crossing in the middle of the block.

Make eye contact with the driver before stepping out into the street, even if you have the right of way. Never, ever presume a driver sees you.

Choose Your Walking Path with Care

Whenever possible, stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk available, walk on the shoulder of the road, as close to the edge as possible. Walk against traffic, so that you can see what is coming. Particularly if you are not on a sidewalk, avoid wearing headphones, which block traffic noise.

A “walk” sign is not enough. Do not rely solely on a walk sign to step out into the intersection. With the number of distracted drivers on the roads these days, it makes sense to look left, right, and left again, even if you have the right of way.

Injured?

Injured pedestrians have rights. At The O’Brien Firm, we are happy to talk with you about your pedestrian injuries. Our attorneys will meet with you at no cost. We meet with clients in our office, or another place convenient to them. During our consultations, we discuss our approach to your case, the possible damages you may be able to collect, and about how long your case may take. We answer any questions you or your loved ones may have.

If you choose to hire the firm, your attorney, and our support staff, keep you informed every step of the way. Contact us today at (716) 907-7777.