Content reviewed by Jason D. Stone
After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyday tasks such as driving might not feel as natural as they once did. If you haven’t driven much over the past year, you might feel uneasy about getting back on the road now that things are slowly returning to normal.
According to the National Security Council, during 2020, there was a 24% spike in roadway death rates which is the highest in 96 years. As traffic picks back up, we all want to avoid seeing this trend continue.
Even if you feel confident about driving again, you may be forced to admit your driving skills are pretty rusty. If a return to driving results in an unfortunate car accident, Boston car accident lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
However, we hope you never need our services. To avoid vehicle accidents, there are several things you can do to stay safe as you begin driving again.
Plan Your Route
Planning your route ahead of time can instill confidence and help you relax when driving. Anxiety behind the wheel can adversely affect your driving abilities and reaction time. Having a clear idea of where you are going can help you stay calm and focused on the drivers around you.
Constantly checking Google Maps on your phone or the car’s GPS can also distract you while driving. If you are going to use a GPS, familiarize yourself with the route before leaving home, so you don’t have to look at the screen constantly.
Before the pandemic, you might have driven for many hours without getting tired and needing a rest. However, if you feel rusty behind the wheel, you’ll need to take enough breaks on the road to stay fresh. Driving while tired is a common cause of accidents. When you aren’t as alert as usual, you’ll naturally make more mistakes and have a slower reaction time.
Get Your Car Ready
If you are planning a more extended trip after your car has sat idle for many months, it’s a good idea to get a mechanic to take a look at it before leaving. Longer journeys are more demanding for a car than short trips to the grocery store, and you should ensure the vehicle is roadworthy.
The mechanic should check the tires, the battery, and all the fluids. It’s essential to refill the windshield wiper’s fluid if it’s empty. Also, check that your insurance is up-to-date, and your driver’s license hasn’t expired.
Finally, make adjustments to your vehicle as necessary before departing. It’s essential to adjust the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and mirrors for optimal comfort and visibility.
Check For Any Health Problems
Many people canceled their routine medical appointments in 2020 to stay home, leading to some conditions going unnoticed or unchecked. Your eyesight can deteriorate from too much screen time, so if you’ve been working online during the pandemic, it’s a good idea to visit an eye doctor to update your prescription before driving again. Visual impairment on the road can cause severe injuries and death.
Other conditions such as arthritis and diabetes can also cause problems when driving. Schedule a checkup with your doctor to assess any progressions in your current physical condition and ensure nothing new has developed in the past year.
Brush-up On Your Skills
Some people have made lifestyle changes during the pandemic that may affect drivers. In cities, you may notice an increase in cyclists, who you’ll need to watch for as you share the road.
A simple way of brushing up on your driving skills is to invest in a defensive driving course. Learning these techniques can help you sharpen your driving abilities while protecting yourself from other drivers on the road who may also be out of practice.
Consider starting by driving in off-peak hours when traffic is reduced until you feel confident behind the wheel again.
Contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers
Using these tips can help you get back into driving and stay safe. However, they can’t protect you from the negligence of other drivers.
If you are involved in a car accident and suffer an injury, attorneys at Jason Stone can negotiate with insurance companies and file a claim. Dealing with insurance companies yourself can be a slow process and may result in a lower payment amount than you’re entitled to.
We have the right experience to get you the maximum compensation. Contact our law firm for a free consultation to learn your legal options after a car accident.