Whether you call it a crash or an accident, hundreds of people are hurt or killed in Michigan annually from vehicle-related collisions. Valentine’s Day lands just outside the holiday season, so many people assume the risks are lower for roadside dangers. The fact is, Valentine’s Day can still lead to heartache and needing a Michigan car crash attorney. But much of that can be avoided by just following a few safety tips to keep you and your loved one safe.
Plan Your Routes Early
There’s little worse on Valentine’s Day than planning a special date or adventure, getting your special crush or partner all excited about the surprise and then showing up late… other than not being able to get there at all. Detours, closed routes, unexpected construction, and inclement weather are par for the course in the Midwest, so plan for it early. Use your current GPS and weather apps or download a new free one to make sure you choose the best routes for your needs.
Valentine’s Day events are usually celebrated at night, so traffic can be harsh at the best of times. But this year, the hearts and flowers holiday falls on a Friday. Even those who avoid holiday traffic like the plague will be in a hurry to get home from work, school, or from picking up the kids in hope of jumping right into the weekend. And those who are celebrating the holiday will be in a hurry to get to their own destination. Don’t join the horde of rude or reckless drivers by forgetting how to be respectful on the road. Slow down, pay attention, avoid road rage, and share the road to get to your destination in one piece.
Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the CDC, approximately one drinking-related car crash ends in fatalities every 50 minutes in the U.S. Mass-celebrated holidays are worse for drinking and driving than any other time during the year. Valentine’s Day can be especially problematic as sweethearts tend to partake of the bubbly and the broken-hearted may opt for something quite stronger. While you can’t control the behavior of others, you can control your own actions. So avoid driving if you’ve been drinking, and pay attention to risky drivers on the road. Report potential problems as needed and keep your distance.
Keep Your Hands on the Wheel (And to Yourself in the Car)
Practically everyone has a smartphone or access to one nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s smart with the device. Reports by the National Safety Council warn that at least 1.6 million car crashes are due to cell phone usage while driving. Most of that is text-related. That risky driving behavior alone leads to 3,000-6,000 fatalities annually.
There are actually three main types of distracted driving: cognitive, manual, and visual. Taking your eyes, hands, or mind off the road for even a few seconds can lead to a serious accident and require a call to your Michigan car crash attorney. So avoid eating in the car, playing with your phone, and letting your hands wander to the radio or a frisky Valentine’s date. At least pull over and put the car in park first. Those few seconds may just save your lives.