The New England winter this year has been tougher than most. If you’re planning to escape the cold for spring break, don’t forget to plan for safety as well. After all, a spring break spent with a serious injury is even less fun than one spent buried under a Rhode Island snowstorm.
As you pack your bags and plan your route, keep these tips in mind to avoid a car accident or other serious personal injury.
Sober Driving is Safer Driving
Riding only with sober drivers – and driving only if you are sober – protects you, your passengers and everyone else on the road. Here’s how to avoid driving while impaired on spring break:
- Plan ahead. Know how you’ll get back to your hotel before you head out. Will you take a cab, ride with a designated driver, use public transportation or walk?
- Come prepared. Program the numbers of local cab companies into your cell phone. Not only will you be able to get a ride if you need one, but you’ll also be able to call a sober ride for anyone else who looks like they’ve had “one too many.”
- Celebrate designated drivers. Show your “DD” some extra love by offering to buy dinner, pay their club cover or fill their gas tank. Designated drivers can save lives, so say thanks!
Avoid Distractions to Arrive in One Piece
Distractions behind the wheel can also cause car accidents that result in serious harm. Here are three ways to stay focused on driving to arrive safely at your spring break destinations:
- Put away the cell phone. Stick your phone in the glove compartment or console so you won’t be tempted to check it while you drive. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over – you can also use the time to stretch and take a break, which will help you stay alert.
- Cut down on passenger distractions. Passengers can do their part to help everyone arrive safely by avoiding rowdy behavior. If you think your passengers might start the party early, plan your trip so they rest up in the car and unleash the fun after you arrive.
- Enlist help. Trying to read a GPS system or map can be just as distracting as texting. Ask a friend to navigate so you can focus on driving.
Prep Your Car for Safer Travel
If you’re heading south for spring break, you’re probably going to travel hundreds of miles through all kinds of weather. Plan ahead. It makes for a smoother and shorter trip.
- Check your car before you go. Have a trusted mechanic thoroughly inspect your car and fix anything that could cause a problem on your trip. Get the oil changed, check the tire pressure and tread, make sure the coolant and washer fluid are filled. Nobody wants to spend spring break waiting for a tow truck.
- Pack your emergency kit. Chances are that you’ll have to drive through at least some snow and cold weather before you hit the beach. Make sure you have a well-stocked winter emergency kit in your car, including extra blankets and clothes, food and water. A small snow shovel and some kitty litter may come in handy if you get stuck.
- Let someone know where you’re going. Leave your travel plans with at least one other person who isn’t coming with you: a parent, a roommate or a friend, for example. If something goes wrong and they need to respond, they’ll know not only where you were going, but also how you planned to get there.
Check out safespringbreak.org for more tips on making the most of your spring break adventure.
If you are the victim of a crash caused by someone else’ negligence while on spring break, you will likely face medical bills, lost wages and other losses that could potentially be recovered through an auto accident lawsuit.
The Rhode Island personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush provide free case reviews to motor vehicle accident victims and their families. Call us at 855-801-6262 or fill out a contact form to set up a free legal consultation. We have four offices located in Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, and Woonsocket to easily serve you.