We're coming up on the time of year that's been ominously dubbed the "100 Deadliest Days for Drivers" -- from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Many Americans are taking weekend trips and longer vacations. Teens with little experience behind the wheel have a lot of free time, and much of it is spent in their cars.
In addition to the usual distractions of texting and talking on the phone, many drivers have human distractions in their cars. Parents are driving kids to a multitude of summer activities. Teens are crowding into cars for a day at the beach or a night of partying.
You can't control what other drivers are doing, but you can ensure that you're as alert and attentive as possible on the road. This can help you avoid getting involved in a crash with a distracted, drunk or reckless driver. Following are some important tips:
Don't drive when you're tired
Drowsy driving is a particular danger on long summer road trips when you're trying to get in as many miles as possible before you stop at a hotel for the night. Share the driving duties with someone else.
Don't drive if you've been drinking
Even casual backyard summer parties often involve alcohol. Unless you're going with someone who has committed to being the designated sober driver, leave the car at home and take an Uber or Lyft.
Make sure everyone is buckled up
A seat belt can be extra uncomfortable when you're nursing a sunburn after a day at the pool. However, everyone in the car needs to wear one or be in a child safety seat. If you're a parent chauffeuring a large group of kids, make sure every one of them is properly secured.
Turn off your phone
No matter how committed you are to not talking or texting while driving, it can be hard to ignore your phone when you hear calls and messages coming in. Stick to hands-free devices.
All of these things can help you be more aware of what's going on around you on the road. However, sometimes it's impossible to avoid another driver who's less aware. If you're injured in a crash caused by someone else, be sure that you're aware of all your legal options for getting the compensation you need and deserve.