The end of summer may be coming, but it’s not here yet. If you’re planning one last road trip before the kids go back to school, we have some of advice for you. Have fun and stay safe!
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the nation’s roadways and highways are generally most dangerous during the summer months. August, in particular, tends to be the most dangerous month of summer.
Researchers theorize that lower gas prices have more people and vehicles taking to the road for their summer vacations. When combined with risky behaviors, like speeding and texting while driving, this leap in driving activity has made the summer months more dangerous than ever before.
What are the dangers?
To ensure you and your family are protected while traveling on the road, it’s important to know some of the risks you’re up against.
Distractions caused by cell phones, electronic devices, driver-assist features, children and other attention grabbers play a large role in causing accidents on the road. Whether it’s sifting through your playlist for the perfect song, confirming GPS directions or just fiddling with your phone, distractions effectively divide your attention and increase the likelihood of a crash. If your attention is needed for anything other than driving, pull over.
Driving while fatigued can have serious, potentially deadly consequences. Studies done by the National Sleep Foundation show that the impairment caused by drowsy driving is similar to that caused by alcohol. Long distance road trips require long hours behind the wheel, and adequate rest is often sacrificed for the sake of covering more ground. This scenario increases the likelihood of drowsy driving and endangers everyone riding in the car and sharing the road.
There are a number of other well-known driving behaviors that make the road more dangerous, like speeding, aggressive driving and drunk driving. There are also some lesser-known risks that can be equally dangerous to those embarking on long road trips.
Perhaps one of the most serious dangers of the road may be silently lurking in the driver’s seat. Though formally known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), it’s commonly called a blood clot, and it can be deadly. Sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of a blood clot forming in the leg, so experts recommend stopping the car every hour and walking around for a few minutes. You should also drink plenty of fluids, especially water, avoid caffeine and wear loose clothing.
How do I stay safe?
Now that you know…
Stay focused. Changing the song can wait and Google Maps can read directions aloud. Your phone can be a valuable asset on the road, but it can also become your biggest liability.
Pull over and get rest. Stopping for rest at hotels, motels and other safe rest stops is much better than driving drowsy.
Get out and walk around. Regular stops to move around can maintain circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Most accidents can be avoided by focusing on safety, but not all. Some accidents really are unavoidable, so it helps to have the right kind and amount of auto insurance…just in case.
Please contact us if you have questions about your auto insurance or would like a quote.
To receive regular updates about important developments that may affect you or your business, subscribe to Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk’s weekly risk management news brief.
Source: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/overview-of-fatality-facts (US DOT statistics); https://www.stoptheclot.org/learn_more/prevention_of_thrombosis.htm