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Avoiding an accident this Memorial Day weekend

According to AAA, nearly 42 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That is almost five percent more than last year.

More travelers means more drivers on our roads, more people getting to and from the airport – and the potential for more roadway accidents.

What can motorists do to keep themselves safe while traveling this weekend? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Eliminate distractions: Most people know that distracted driving is dangerous. But many of those people still engage in distracted driving practices such as checking emails, sending a text message or making a phone call while driving. There has never been a better time to stop distracted driving – on one of the busiest driving weekends of the year.
  • Don’t speed: Speeding is very dangerous, but it doesn’t get the attention of other similarly dangerous driving practices such as drunk driving or distracted driving. Many people are surprised to find out that speeding is as dangerous as drunk driving and kills just as many people. Obeying the speed limit is a simple thing drivers can do to stay safer while driving.
  • Buckle up: Seat belt use is one of the most effective ways of reducing serious injuries and fatalities in a car accident. But in Ohio, only 82 percent of drivers and front seat passengers regularly use a seat belt.
  • Practice defensive driving: Drivers who practice defensive driving are always looking to minimize the possibility of an accident. Essentially, it involves “expecting the unexpected” from other drivers: Sudden braking, failure to stop for a stop sign or stop light, changing lanes without signaling, etc. Preparing for these unexpected scenarios can help drivers avoid collisions.
  • Check your car: Now is a great time to ensure that your car is in good working condition. Are tires properly inflated? Does oil need to be changed? Are the brakes in good condition? Are turn signals and brake lights all working?

Taking a few simple precautions can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend. But keep in mind that these tips are good to implement all the time. Safe driving is an important daily practice.