It goes without saying, but can’t be said enough… Independence Day can be a dangerous time to drive! So many people, all trying to get to and from their holiday destinations. There are distracted drivers, drunk drivers, people speeding and rushing. Here are some Motor Vehicle Safety tips for you to keep in mind.

Be sure that your vehicle is in good working order. Before traveling to your Fourth of July Destination, get a tune up; check tire tread and pressure, oil and fluid levels, working lights and windshield wipers, etc.

As always, buckle up for safety. In the majority of accidents, seat belts save lives.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50%. Adults who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts (78% usage) than adults who live in urban and suburban areas (87% usage). Also, secure your infants and children in properly fitted car seats and booster seats.

NEVER drink and drive.  All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws defining driving impaired as a crime with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a specified level, currently 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood). One 12-ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Drinking alcohol slows reaction time and impairs judgment and coordination, all skills needed to drive a car safely.  The more alcohol consumed, the greater the impairment. Take a cab, Uber, or have a designated sober driver.

Observe speed limits.  Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Most likely you will have to share the road with thousands of other drivers, road construction, and possible rain and summer storms, so get used to it. You’re not in a race. Speeders don’t win.

Stay alert on your ride home. Take a break when feeling drowsy. Take advantage of rest stops. Drive defensively.

Put the distractions away. Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. Worse, don’t text while driving. Both require focus. You can only do one well. Program your GPS prior to leaving or while stopped, never while driving. Ask your passenger to change the CDs. One or two seconds of distractions can negatively impact your life and the lives of others.

Drive cautiously on rural roads. Some of the nicest destinations happen to be out in the “sticks”. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), more accidents occur on rural roads than other venues. Stay allert, watch out for deer and other animals.

Thanks for reading this and have a safe, happy holiday!
The Law Offices of Dussault & Zatir