If you are planning a long-distance road trip, there are several steps you should take to avoid an accident. Make sure you are well rested and that your car is in good condition, and plan your route before departing. That last point is especially important if your journey passes through unfamiliar territories.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, Americans take 2.6 billion long-distance road trips every year. Driving in unfamiliar areas increases the risk of an accident. Travellers often get lost or have difficulty locating specific destinations, which can lead to indecisiveness and distracted driving.
Here are four tips for staying safe on unfamiliar roads:
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Know Your Route
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you should plan your route a day or two before you depart. Google Maps and Waze provide easy-to-use route planning programs. They will help you visualize your trip and will also highlight potential dangers such as heavy traffic.
Use a Global Positioning System
Use a GPS device or smartphone for guidance. A navigation system can help you find the fastest route to your destination. It can also prevent the distractions that come with getting lost. Position your GPS device on your dashboard so you do not have to tilt your head or move your eyes too far off the road to view it. If you think you are lost, do not reprogram your GPS while driving. Pull over to a safe area first.
Avoid Sudden Lane Changes and Exits
While driving in unfamiliar territory, it is common to miss turns and exits. If this happens to you, do not try to correct your mistake immediately. Continue driving until you find a safe place to reroute. If you are using a GPS, it may automatically redirect you.
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Signal Your Intentions
You have a lot to think about when driving on unfamiliar roads, particularly if you hit heavy traffic or inclement weather. It is important to remain vigilant when it comes to responsible driving. Make sure you use turn signals every time you change lanes. Signal your intentions well in advance, and confirm that there are no vehicles around you before you merge. According to the FMCSA, a recent study found that there are approximately 630,000 lane-change accidents across the United States each year.
If you were injured in a crash in Louisiana, contact a Lafayette car accident lawyer from Morris Bart. Our firm has been representing the injured for more than 30 years. We can help you navigate the claims process. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.