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Staying Safe on the Road over Memorial Day Weekend

For many, Memorial Day weekend is a time to celebrate in honor of our military veterans. For others, the long weekend is simply a means of kicking off our summer festivities. Whether you intend on partaking in any holiday events, or you plan on spending the weekend, just as you would any other, it is important for all motorists to remain aware of the dangers that exist along our roadways during busy holiday weekends like Memorial Day. The Automobile Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC remind drivers to use caution as they travel, and offer some tips to drivers to increase safety.

Tip #1 – Leave Early. The earlier in the day you leave, the more likely you are to avoid heavy traffic and congestion. Departing before 9 am can assist in avoiding traffic. Also, studies have shown that drivers are less likely to encounter impaired drivers if they travel between 7 am and noon, than they are later in the day.

Tip #2 – Plan Ahead. Know where you are going before you depart. Although many of us often rely on GPS or mobile devices to route our trips, it is helpful to have a printed version of your trip, as a back-up. If you must use a device to route or re-route your trip, have a non-driver vehicle occupant assist you. If you are traveling alone and need to use a mapping device, safely pull off the roadway, and reassess your location before proceeding.

Tip #3 – Don’t speed. If you have taken the time to leave early and plan ahead, there is no need to speed. Speeding not only increases the risk of being involved in an accident, but can put you at higher risk of sustaining more serious injuries, or even fatality, in the event a collision occurs. If safety concerns aren’t enough to motivate you to drive within posted speed limits, perhaps the increased presence of enforcement officials, and the risk of a traffic infraction, may be more persuade you to drive safely.

Tip #4 – Always use a Designated Driver. If you intend on drinking alcohol, be sure to designate a person ahead of time, who will remain sober and can safely transport others home. If you find yourself impaired, and without a safe ride home, call a friend, family or cab. Also, services such as AAA’s ‘Tow to Go,’ offers a safe ride home (within a 10 mile radius) for both you and your car. This service is available free of charge, to both AAA members and non-members, and can be requested by calling 855-2-TOW-2-GO, or 855-286-9246.

Tip #5 – Wear a Seatbelt. The use of safety-restraint devices is always encouraged, however, their use becomes even more important when the presence of more drivers (and more impaired drivers) increases the likelihood of an accident. While we can’t control the actions of other drivers, we can take measures to ensure our own safety, by wearing a seat-belt at all times, and also making sure that any children in the vehicle are properly secured.

Tip #6 – Be aware of others. Maintain constant awareness of your surroundings, particularly with other motorists that may be speeding, driving aggressively, and driving while impaired. According to the NHTSA, nearly 400 automobile accident-related fatalities occurred in 2010, and 40% of these were attributed to alcohol impairment.

The Gainesville Accident & Injury Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC, hope that all motorists will drive in a safe and responsible manner this weekend, and wish you all a Happy Memorial Day.

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