The unofficial kickoff of the summer vacation season is Memorial Day Weekend. Millions of Americans plan on embarking on road trips to take advantage of the three-day weekend. But since more drivers are on the roadways, there are plenty of opportunities for auto accidents due to heavy traffic conditions. From aggressive driving and road rage to drowsiness and distractions, there are many dangerous factors that can lead to a collision. In addition, Memorial Day Weekend also includes barbeques, pool parties, and other forms of celebrations that involve alcohol consumption. Drunk drivers are one of the main causes of car accident injuries and fatalities during the weekend. The following are several tips you must follow if you plan on driving this Memorial Day Weekend:
- Don’t drink and drive – There are several alternative modes of transportation you can use if you plan on drinking alcohol this weekend. You can ask a sober friend to be your designated driver. If you cannot find one, you can request a ride from an Uber or Lyft driver by using your cell phone. A more frugal option is using public transportation such as the bus or train.
- Avoid congested traffic – Since many Americans will hit the road this weekend, cities like Memphis could experience a significant increase in traffic congestion. The busiest travel days are typically Friday and Monday, so try to avoid driving on those days and consider going on your trip a day early or late to avoid being stuck in traffic.
- Avoid distractions – Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States. Your focus needs to be on the road, rather than your texts, e-mails, and social media notifications. Before you start the engine, put your cellphone on silent.
- Practice defensive driving – Defensive driving involves “expecting the unexpected,” whether it’s a driver changing lanes without signaling or suddenly braking for no apparent reason. Anticipating unexpected road conditions enables you to have time to avoid a potential collision.
- Get plenty of rest – Before you go on your road trip, get a good night’s sleep to avoid feeling fatigued when you’re on the road. If you happen to feel drowsy while driving, either ask one of your passengers to take over driving duties or check in at a motel or hotel and take a quick nap.