Summer is right around the corner, and so is AAA’s 100 Deadliest Days. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, more car accidents occur in the U.S. than at any other time of the year. Here’s how you can protect yourself and others while you’re on the road this summer.
Be Wary at Night
If you can, avoid driving at night or be wary when you do. It can be one of the least safe times to be on the road. Poor visibility, summer storms, and the most dreaded of all, drunk drivers can turn your pleasant night drive into something dangerous. According to CDC statistics, 1.8% of California’s 26+ million drivers admit to driving after drinking too much.
While you can be responsible for yourself on the road, it doesn’t mean you can prevent others from getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. You’re still vulnerable to drunk drivers even when driving sober, as you don’t know who’s on the road with you. Be wary and keep an eye out for drivers that may be driving irregularly.
Stay a Vehicle-Length Behind the Car in Front of You
Give yourself enough space to brake if you need to. It might not seem like a far distance when driving, but you may skid forward a few feet when you slam your foot on the brake. If you hit the driver in front of you, not only are you legally liable, but you or the other driver could get seriously hurt.
Many of us tailgate the car in front of us is driving slowly. You might be eager to hit the beach or get to a barbecue, but that doesn’t mean you should forego safety. According to Just Great Lawyers, there was an 11% increase in fatalities due to speeding than the year before. Therefore, it’s better to go below the speed limit but give yourself plenty of space between you and the car in front of you than to be so close to the other vehicle that you can barely see their tail lights.
Learn Defensive Driving
While it’s true that 72% of police cars have in-car video systems, a police officer won’t always be around when you encounter an unsafe driver on the road. Learning defensive driving can be a great way to help you avoid the unexpected such as speeding motorists, other unexpected accidents on the road around you, or deer and other animals that run out into the road. Defensive driving can come especially handy during the summer months because it’s when many teenagers and other new drivers are on the road, and you never know when you may need to react at the last minute to avoid an accident.
Summer is many people’s favorite season, but it is also a dangerous time on the road. To avoid being part of the grim statistics of the deadliest days to be behind the wheel, be mindful of driving at night, keep a car’s distance between you and other vehicles, and, most importantly, drive safely.