During the 2014 Memorial Day weekend, across the State of California there were nineteen people killed in various traffic accidents. The year prior according to the California Highway Patrol statistics the number of Memorial Day traffic fatalities was 40 individuals. The statistical number of accidents seem to rise during each holiday season as compared to the weeks and months immediately before or after a holiday. While there is no good time for any accident, especially one where a death results, holiday accidents becomes especially difficult for the families of those who have died to be reminded of the death each year when others around them are celebrating the holiday.
Many of these accidents occur as a result of drunk drivers, distracted driving, driving when too tired, vehicle or tire failures, and too many cars on the road. Here are some tips to help reduce the likelihood of holiday accidents:
1. Leave early before the majority of the traffic gets on the road. In 2014, many of the Southern California freeways were so congested that the average freeway speed on some of the major interstate highways was around 30 mph.
2. Make sure you never drink and drive. During the 2014 Memorial Day weekend, San Bernardino County law enforcement agencies reported more than 34 arrests for driving under the influence. Certainly, during this weekend, there were many more who were driving under the influence but were not caught.
3. Avoid the use of handheld cell phones, texting or other electronics which distract your attention while driving. Cell phone use can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
4. Be aware of the road conditions and surrounding traffic. Surprises and weather conditions can alter the ability to maintain a vehicle within a roadway lane. Heavy winds or damaged roadways can shift a routine drive into an unexpected nightmare.
5. Make sure you have your car and tires checked before heading out on a road trip. Proper maintenance of your vehicle increases your chances of arriving safely to your destination.
If you, or a loved one, has been involved in a holiday traffic accident, or an accident at any time, contact a personal injury attorney early following an accident to allow your chosen attorney to gather all the information necessary to find the people responsible for the accident, develop the theories of liability and to support your claim of damages. Delays in securing important information in a traffic collision claim can be the difference between success and failure.