Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Travel: Putting Drivers at an Increased Risk of Injury

Holiday Travel & Accidents
With the winter holiday season right around the corner, many of us are planning trips to see friends and family elsewhere in the state or even across the country. According to the Bureau Travel Statistics,1 91 percent of long-distance holiday travel is accomplished using a personal vehicle, like a car, leading to an increase of traffic on the road. In fact, the agency reports that the number of long-distance trips taken in the number of long-distance trips taken during the 6-day Thanksgiving holiday increased by 54 percent.

Whenever there are more people on the roadways, there is an increased risk of involvement in an accident. Fortunately for accident victims, people who are injured in accidents that are caused by the negligence of others are often legally entitled to compensation under Florida law. Consequently, anyone involved in an accident should talk to an experienced lawyer immediately.

Common causes of holiday travel crashes
Accidents that occur during holiday travel can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common are detailed below.

·         Poor weather conditions – The winter months often bring adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, hail, sleet and extreme cold. When people travel by car during the holiday season, they often encounter poor weather along the way. This can be particularly dangerous, particularly when people who are unfamiliar with driving in winter weather are driving in a storm or in snowy or icy conditions.

·         Driver error – Statistics2 consistently indicate that driver error is the most common cause of car accidents. The kinds of errors that have the potential to cause serious accidents during the holiday travel season include speeding, failing to yield, failure to signal lane changes, and not observing traffic signals.

·         Poor vehicle maintenance –Vehicle maintenance plays a significant role in roadway safety, and failure to properly maintain a vehicle may rise to the level of legal negligence. Common examples of the kinds of maintenance issues that could potentially lead to a holiday travel accident include the failure to check brakes, windshield wipers, headlights, or tire pressure prior to a road trip.

·         Drinking and driving – The holiday season often involves parties and other gatherings that involve the consumption of alcohol. For this reason, there are often more drunk drivers on the road during the holidays than there are at other times of year. Drunk drivers can often cause serious accidents that can have leave victims with severe injuries.

What should you do if you are involved in a holiday travel auto accident?
While a car accident around the holidays can be disruptive, confusing, and leave you confused about what to do next. Unfortunately, the things that car accident victims say and do immediately after an  accident can have a direct impact on whether you will be able to recover for your losses. Some of the steps that people involved in car accidents should take include the following:

·         Call 911 and make sure that law enforcement generates a report detailing the way in which the accident occurred.

·         Undergo a thorough medical evaluation to ensure that your injuries are identified, treated, and properly documented.

·         Collect information about the accident, including the names of the other drivers involved in the accident, the weather conditions at the time of the crash, any road hazards that you believe may have contributed to the accident, and contact information for any onlookers that may have witnessed the accident take place.

Contact a Clearwater personal injury law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation

The holidays should be a time for friends and family, not hospitals and rehabilitative care. When people are injured in accidents while travelling from city to city, they are often entitled to substantial compensation. The lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are skilled Clearwater personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to helping people who have been hurt by the negligence of others recover for their losses. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, please call our office today at 727-451-6900. Individuals who are seeking legal representation can also send us an email by utilizing our online contact form available here.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756