With summer in full swing, the kids are home from school all day and families from around the country are taking time out from their busy schedule for vacations. Colorado is a very popular summer destination for obvious reasons, but our state’s residents will also be hitting the road for travel spots outside of Colorado.
There is no doubt that the most popular form of transportation is the motor vehicle. With so many people taking to the highways for summer vacations, it’s no wonder that the number of motor vehicle accidents goes up during the summer months. It’s wise to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your family in Colorado Springs.
Road Accident Statistics Paint a Stark Picture
The number-one cause of death for travelers is traffic-related injuries. According to a study from the U.S. Department of State on American travelers, 32% of all reported deaths were caused by road accidents. Worldwide, the problem has become so bad that the United Nations designated 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Car accidents are on the rise nationwide. Driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, and excessive speeding are among the leading causes. Although no level of preparation or defensive driving can completely prevent a crash, some road incidents are preventable. You owe it to yourself and your family to educate yourself on ways to stay safe.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has found that August is the deadliest month, with a reported 3,612 fatalities in August 2008. The month also has a fatality rate of 1.42, which is 0.10 points higher than either September or June.
What Precautions Should Be Taken?
The dangers on the road come in many forms, some are apparent, others are not. Obviously, one of the simplest things you can do is to get your car maintained before heading out on a significant trip. A standard list of checks includes:
- brake inspections
- new windshield wipers
- battery tests
- tire pressure
- topped-off wiper fluid
Many people don’t realize this, but the new remote keys that automatically open doors are battery-powered. That means they need to be replaced every once in a while. That also means they are most likely to go dead when you’re furthest away from a convenience store, such as during a road trip. Make sure you always carry a spare key that’s easily accessible so that you don’t end up stranded and unable to open your car.
It’s also wise to pack an emergency roadside survival kit, especially when you are traveling with your family. Items you may want to have on hand include:
- first-aid kit
- spare tire
- tire jack
- jumper cables
- spare batteries of various size
- duct tape
- tow strap
- empty fuel canister
- tool box
- rain gear
- funnel and tube
- plenty of extra food and water
Expect the Unexpected
Road accidents, while they may happen unexpectedly, are a clear risk of car travel. But other dangers may be nearly impossible to foresee. For example, did you know that people are more likely to suffer a severe blood clot while traveling?
Severe blood clots afflict upwards of 2 million people every year in the United States alone, and kill about 200,000 people. When a person suffers a blood clot, it can lead to a heart attack, a stroke, or other problems. When a clot develops in a large vein (usually in the legs) it is referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). One of the main risk factors of a DVT is extended travel time. In the worst cases, the clot can end up moving into one of the lungs, leading to a pulmonary embolism, which is fatal a third of the time.
DVTs have an increased chance of developing while a person is inactive, such as during a road trip. The best way to mitigate the risk is to take rest stops regularly and get out of the car to stretch and move around.
What Happens If You’re Injured During a Road Trip?
With so many tourists and travelers on the road during the summer, collisions are bound to increase. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Colorado laws protect victims of car crashes and you have the right to be fully compensated for any injuries that occur due to someone else’s negligence.
Every personal injury case has its own unique set of circumstances. That’s why the best way to ensure you are treated fairly following an accident is to have an experienced Colorado Spring personal injury lawyer to advocate on your behalf. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., provides vigorous representation of victims to make sure they get the compensation they need to heal. Call (719) 401-0585 today to schedule a free consultation.