November is here, and the holiday season is just around the corner. While the months ahead are a time for celebrating with family and friends, they're also associated with an increased risk for car accidents, largely due to an increase in traffic on our state's roadways. In this post, our Kansas City car accident lawyers discuss ten important tips to help promote safe travel this holiday season.
Holiday driving safety: Ten tips for Kansas City drivers
1. Have your vehicle serviced before hitting the road. Get an oil change and a tune-up to make sure your car is ready for holiday travel. Doing so can go a long way towards preventing potential headaches when you're on the road. It's especially important to check the air pressure in your tires, particularly if you're driving a long distance and may encounter inclement weather conditions.
2. Clean out your vehicle in advance. Getting rid of any unnecessary clutter won't just make your travel experience more pleasant - it will make your vehicle safer, too. When accidents happen, loose items in a vehicle can quickly become safety hazards.
3. Pack an emergency kit. It never hurts to be prepared, just in case a collision or a breakdown leaves you in a pinch. Be sure to include a flashlight, blankets, an ice scraper, jumper cables and flares.
4. Check road conditions on your route. Knowing if you're going to encounter construction zones, lane closures, congested traffic or bad weather will help you plan your trip realistically.
5. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Rushed drivers tend to drive too fast, follow too close, and make risky decisions - all of which can make you more vulnerable to an accident. Plan to leave early so you won't feel flustered by the holiday traffic.
6. Buckle up (and make sure your passengers do too). Wearing a seat belt is the easiest, most effective way to safeguard yourself
against car accident injuries. If you're carrying young passengers,
it's particularly essential that they're properly restrained in
appropriate safety seats.
(Click here to read Section 307.182 RSMo, Missouri's Child Restraint Law.)
7. Stay alert and focused on the road in front of you. Put your cell phone away, and don't get behind the wheel if your holiday celebration included alcohol. You should also avoid driving when you're drowsy - plan your trip so that you can get plenty of sleep and be well-rested when you're on the road.
8. Watch your speed. When you encounter impatient or aggressive drivers, remain calm and let them go around you.
9. Don't follow too closely. Allow plenty of extra space between your vehicle and others traveling near you. Doing so gives you time to react if sometimes unexpected happens.
10. Be courteous to other drivers. Use your turn signals to alert other drivers to your intentions, and take care to follow all traffic laws. After all, tis the season for good will.