Avoiding Summer Road Hazards

Summer is a time to celebrate. Students enjoy a lengthy break, families make memories on the road, teens get their first taste of the work force, and things are just a bit more laid back.

Unfortunately, car wrecks peak during the summer months as well. Here are some tips and pointers to help stay safe.

Vacations – Families on vacation often find themselves on unfamiliar roads. When driving on a road trip, keep up with the flow of traffic, use your car or phone’s GPS system or have a passenger navigate for you, and turn off your cell phone or at least limit distractions from calls, texts, and e-mails.

Motorcycles – More motorcyclists are out on the road in warmer months, raising the risk of an uptick in wrecks. Tennessee has a mandatory helmet law (Tennessee Code Section 55-9-302), but many people will choose to accept a potential fine to avoid wearing one. Wearing a helmet, however, will greatly decrease your chances of a serious head or brain injury in the event of a crash.

Effect of warm weather on tires – Warm weather causes fluctuations in tire pressure. Underinflated tires don’t hold contact with the road as well as properly inflated ones and are more prone to blowouts. Tires should regularly be checked to insure the appropriate fill.

Construction zones – Construction zones should be traversed with care. This is particularly true along such busy thoroughfares as I-24, I-75, and I-59around Chattanooga. Watch out for detours, congestion, sudden speed limit changes, large trucks entering traffic, lane pattern shifts, and activity alongside the road. Excessive speed and distracted driving will dramatically increase the chance that wrecks will occur in a construction area. Paying close attention to the road could literally mean the difference between life and death. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are an average of more than 770 construction zone fatalities each year.

If You Do Get Hurt

No matter how careful you are behind the wheel in the summertime, it is still possible you or someone you love will suffer injuries in a car wreck because of someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been hurt, contact an experienced local personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.

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