The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days for travel. While gas prices are at record highs, there are no indications that families are cutting back on travel plans this summer after two years of pandemic related isolation and restrictions.
Our car accident lawyers and Fort Myers have been representing families dealing with the serious injury or death of a loved one in Southwest Florida for more than half a century. In most cases, these “accidents” are entirely preventable. In fact, they are most often caused by the same dangerous driving behaviors we see over, and over, and over again. We have written about them often, but we encourage you to take a moment to read them and make safe driving a topic of family conversation. There are real, concrete steps each driver in your household can take to drastically reduce the chances of being involved in a life-altering motor vehicle collision.
Teen drivers are at highest risk, and so warrant special mention. Teens are less experienced, less likely to identify hazardous situations, and less likely to take appropriate action in time to avoid an accident. Combine those risk factors with the freedom that comes with friends and the long summer break, and it’s easy to understand why they face the highest risks. Parents should make sure teens obey Florida’s graduated licensing requirements, which restricts night driving, and teen passengers, and outlines other requirements meant to reduce the risks for young drivers.
Parents should also outline clear expectations, which is best done by entering into a safe-driving contract with your young driver. The same driving tips that will help keep everyone in the family safe, should be emphasized to your teen, including:
- Avoid distraction: By some estimates, distraction is involved in nearly half of all collisions. Cell phones are the number one culprit, but talking to passengers, using in-car electronics, eating and drinking, traveling with pets, and being distracted by external factors can all significantly increase the risks that you will not see danger and react in time. Please focus on driving.
- Obey the rules: Use your signals. Obey traffic lights. Don’t tailgate. Don’t speed. Yield the right of way, and pay particular attention at intersections.
- Beware vulnerable road users: The most serious injuries occur to vulnerable road users, including motorcycle riders, walkers and cyclists. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral suggest motorists always give these users the right of way, regardless of whether you think it’s required. The few extra seconds is well worth avoiding a tragedy.
- Never drive intoxicated: Whether by alcohol, or illegal or prescription medications, there is never a reason to drive under the influence. This has never been more true than it is today, when everyone is a click away from a ridesharing app.
- Plan: If you are making a trip of any distance, plan your route. Allow extra time to reach your destination. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. And get plenty of rest before setting out on your journey.
We wish you a long and happy summer of memories. By making safety a priority, and keeping these few key factors in mind, you will be well on your way.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.