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What Are Driving Safety Tips for Memorial Day?

Published: May 20, 2022 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
driving safety tips memorial day

The Memorial Day weekend is one of the most heavily traveled holidays of the year. People get together with family and friends they may not have seen in a long time, especially given the world events of the last two years.

Memorial Day is a great time to celebrate with loved ones and remember the sacrifices made by so many over the years. To celebrate, many people hit the road. Whether driving across town or across the country, drivers will encounter heavier than normal traffic conditions. On this weekend alone, nearly 400 people die in car accidents. To help you avoid becoming a statistic, here are some tips to help you stay safe this Memorial Day.

Check Your Car’s Tire Pressure

Your car’s tires must be in proper working order to keep you safe on the road. Though often ignored, tire pressure is crucial to ensuring a safe trip. Make sure your car’s tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

If you do not properly inflate your tires, you risk a blowout. If the tires are under-inflated, you will get poor gas mileage and you risk not having traction in poor weather conditions.

Check Your Car’s Fluid Levels

Check your oil, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. Make sure all of these fluids are topped off before you set off on your journey. If it has been some time since you changed your oil, do that before you go.

Also make sure you bring extra fluids with you. It is entirely possible that you will need additional fluids while on your trip and you do not want to have to find a store that is open on a holiday and has what you need in stock.

Pack for Emergency Conditions

You never know when you are going to hit bad weather or bad traffic. Make sure you pack warm clothes to keep you warm if you get stranded.

Bring extra batteries, a flashlight, an external battery pack for your phone, and blankets. We do not recommend bringing candles, as they are a fire hazard and could lead to an even more tragic situation.

Check the Weather

Check the weather before you hit the road during Memorial Day. The weather at that time of year can still vary, especially depending on your final destination.

If the weather looks really bad, consider postponing the trip. You may even need to cancel your trip altogether. While that sounds like the opposite of fun, you must ensure that you are safe and arrive at your destination.

Know Your Route and Have an Alternate Route Ready

Even if you have taken this road trip many times, it is important to review your trip itinerary and make an alternate route. You never know what the traffic will be like, especially with so many additional drivers on the road. You also do not know what the weather will be like so make sure you have an alternate route planned.

Planning an alternate route in advance removes the uncertainty if you need to make a quick change to your route. This way, you are not trying to find a new route while on the road but instead simply change course.

Avoid Distractions

Put your phone away. If you need it for directions, keep it out so you can see your path and hear the directions, but make sure you keep it out of arm’s reach. It is also a good idea to use your phone’s car function to remove any unnecessary alerts while you are driving.

Especially if you are traveling with other passengers, including small children, make sure they are aware of your need to focus. Because there are so many other drivers on the road at the same time, it is crucial that conversations and distractions from passengers be kept to a minimum.

Stay Over if You Are Drinking Alcohol

Memorial Day weekend often involves drinking alcohol. If you do, make sure you do not drive after drinking. Your best plan is to stay over at your friend or family member’s house, or get a hotel room. While this may add to the cost of your trip, it is much better to make sure you are safe than to risk getting arrested or causing a potentially catastrophic accident.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Before setting off on your Memorial Day road trip, make sure you get a good night’s rest. Driving drowsy puts your body in a similar state to driving drunk. Your reaction times are greatly reduced and you may not be able to take evasive action to avoid a crash.

Getting good sleep the night before your journey is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay safe on your Memorial Day road trip. But if you do not sleep well, make sure you know your limits. Drive a short distance and then rest, even overnight. Do not push yourself beyond your limits or you could end up in a tragic and potentially deadly situation.

The Edwardsville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC, Help You Stay Safe on Memorial Day

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of getting into a car accident on Memorial Day, speak with our Edwardsville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC, at 618-277-3644 to schedule your free consultation with our experienced legal team. We proudly serve St. Louis, Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis. Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.