It’s almost officially summer in Illinois. That means it’s time to shed your pale Midwestern cocoon and become as tan a butterfly as possible before winter comes around again. For a lot of people, this time of year is synonymous with vacation, and getting away from work for a week or two to enjoy yourself, and that means hitting the highway. Everybody needs a little time to unwind, but it is important to remember that the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day often comes with a significant jump in car accidents. Taking preventative measures is much easier than dealing with the consequences of an accident later, so our lawyers have come up with a few useful tips to help keep travelers a little bit safer this summer:
• Always Make Sure Your Children Are Safe-Many of the people going on vacation this summer do so with their family, so it is extremely important to make sure that all children are safe and secure. Make sure that if your child meets the height and weight requirements of a car seat, they use one, and remember that it is always safer for children to sit in the back seat.
• Pack Your Vehicle Safely-Make sure that you don’t have anything packed into your vehicle that will significantly hinder your ability to see. Additionally, avoid stacking things in the back of your car if the truck is not separated from the interior of the car. In high speed accidents, momentum can turn these boxes and bags into dangerous projectiles.
• Check Your Vehicle Before You Leave-A blown out or flat time can cause an accident, or leave you stopped on a shoulder susceptible to passing cars. Always check your tire pressure and tread before your leave your home. Additionally, check all fluids and electronics, and make sure everything is copacetic before you leave.
• Stay Alert-Many vacation trips are lengthy, and require a lot of hours behind the wheel. Don’t allow things like cell phones or music to distract you, and never get behind the wheel if you feel like you are too tired to drive.
• Watch Out for Drunk Drivers-This time of year many people are celebrating and drinking heavily. Be ready for reckless drivers, and make sure that you are in a position to react in time if you need to. The 4th of July weekend is one of the most dangerous times of the year for these accidents, with more than 100 people being killed in car accidents last year on July 4th alone. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
From all of us at Levin Perconti, we hope you have a fun and safe summer season!