AAA expects a four percent increase in the number of Americans traveling this holiday season over those who traveled last year for a total of 98.6 million Americans leaving home. This is the highest projection since 2009 and it accounts for those who are expected to journey at least 50 miles from home, whether by car, train, plane, or other means. The majority of these people, nearly 91 percent, will be traveling by road at some point in their journey, an indication of anticipated congestion and possible delays along the roads of Chicago and across Illinois.
If you are one of the millions that will be driving this year, know that you are at risk for traffic-related incidents, including car accidents. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. wish you save journeys and want to remind you of the following tips to help increase your safety if you are traveling:
– Plan Ahead: Before you leave home, think about your trip and try to cover all your bases. Make sure you know your final destination and that you are familiar with the route ahead of time. If you are using a map, make sure your map is current and that you are aware of any potential issues, like construction, which may complicate your trip. If you are using GPS, make sure you use it as a guide. While GPS is a wonderful tool, drivers should not forget that it does not replace common sense. Rather, GPS combined with your experience and skill behind the wheel are your best bet.
– Consider Traffic Patterns: If you know where you will be heading, think about what time of day and which days of the week may be the busiest along your preferred route. In many areas, like Chicago, expressway traffic varies significantly during a typical day. This means that leaving during the middle of the day or at times other than rush hour might save drivers hours on their trip. But even if the time to travel is not your primary concern, consider that increased traffic leads to congestion and that car accidents are more likely to occur during periods of heavy traffic than they are when conditions are light.
– Check the Weather: While Chicago has not experienced a lot of snow so far this year, that may change by the time you and your family travel. As the forecast looks now, snow is a possibility as are rain and ice. Chicagoans may be used to inclement weather so it can be easy to forget the threat it poses when your mind is distracted by a family trip. If the weather is poor, consider reducing your speed and increasing the distance between your vehicle and those in front of you. Make sure to leave plenty of time to slow and stop if needed and watch out for other drivers who may lose control of their cars.
– Anticipate a Problem: No one wants to have an incident over the holidays but thousands will be the unwilling victims of such accidents, disasters, and car failures. Think through your options before a problem arises and prepare by packing your cell phone and a car charger to call for help if needed. Consider your options to split up the trip if necessary by staying with friends or family in the event of a problem. If your car is known to have any underlying issues that may make a trip unsafe, take it to a mechanic for a tune up or make any necessary repairs before you plan to leave.
The injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. hope these tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe and free from danger if you are traveling during the holidays. But if you become the unfortunate victims of a collision, know that our legal team will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you whenever you need us.
We offer a free case consultation without any obligation on your part if you call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and everything discussed will be kept confidential. We never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery in their cases and we always front case-related expenses.
If a car accident has affected your life or if you are hurt during the holidays, make sure you have experience on your side. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us fight for the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
River Grove Train Accident Causes Delays, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 17, 2014.