With lockdowns ending and summer (literally) heating up, families around the country have started thinking about getting out of town. In Texas this year, that appears to mean hitting the road for a trip.
That’s right. Many Texas families are choosing not to fly this summer — both to avoid the costs and the potential dangers from exposure to the virus. They are opting to take road trips instead. Unfortunately, with the increase in cars on the road, and with many not having driven much in months, there is an increase in the potential for auto accidents.
Below, we’re going to cover some ways that you can stay safe while driving on Texas highways. We’ll also cover what you can do if you do get into an auto accident to make sure you and your family are covered.
What Are the Main Causes of Auto Accidents In Texas?
In the modern world of ever-increasing technology, this is one of the most common reasons for car accidents. People using social media, talking on the phone, taking pictures, and watching videos all lead to an increase in auto accidents.
It’s not just technology, though. Eating, drinking, and even talking to your passengers (or turning around to yell at your kids) can put you in a precarious position while driving. Take care to stay focused on the road.
This is one that many people don’t think about because it’s so obvious, but failure to properly react to certain situations can lead to car accidents. This can include people switching lanes, not paying attention at red lights and stop signs, and not controlling speed.
With millions of people getting back on the road after long periods without driving, this will be something that may lead to an increase in car accidents.
Poor weather conditions such as rain and snow can lead to numerous hazards, such as slippery roads and poor visibility. During the summer months, the biggest concern weather-wise will be blowouts on the road from the heat as well as poor visibility and slick roads from rain.
How Can Texans Stay Safe During Road Trips?
Aside from the regular hazards mentioned above, the COVID-19 virus has added an increased danger. Travelers need to take precautions to make sure they are avoiding potential exposure. With this in mind, some precautions those hitting the road can take include:
Protecting Themselves from the Virus
Be sure to pack enough masks for each of your family members to wear throughout the duration of your trip. You will also need to make sure you are packing hand sanitizer and have it readily accessible when making stops at places like rest stops or convenience stores. It will also be important to allow extra time during your drive for things like possible roadblocks and checkpoints when going between states and cities.
The single most important step you can take to decrease the potential of being in an auto accident is to remove distractions. This means leaving your phone in driving mode and utilizing hands-free features. If you have a modern vehicle with an entertainment system that has hands free options, be sure to set that up. Also, if you will need the GPS or maps, make sure these are set up before you start driving.
Pay Attention To The Weather
Check the weather so you can plan your driving to avoid severe storms. This will limit the chances that you might come across hazardous road conditions. If you do hit adverse weather, consider pulling over until conditions clear.
Auto accidents are common, but are oftentimes avoidable. With careful planning and proper attention on the road, you give yourself the best chance at having a relaxing road trip — and not having to deal with your insurer.
In the event you do get into an auto accident, however, make sure to document everything. Especially if there are injuries, proper photos and documentation will be important to making your case. In the event you are having trouble making a proper insurance claim, consider speaking with a legal expert who can help you proceed.
About the Author:
Since she started practicing law in Texas in 2004, Sharon Fulgham has consistently been named a Rising Star by SuperLawyers (2012-2019) and a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine. Additionally, she has worked with some of the best attorneys in the state, and served as a partner at the biggest law firm in Fort Worth. Sharon has successfully handled cases at both the state and federal level, and always provides her clients with legal services that are personalized to fit their needs. Outside of work, the most important things in Sharon’s life are her faith, her family (husband Brandon and three children), and serving her community.