Now that Washington’s stay-at-home order has been partially lifted, we can expect traffic to gradually begin to pick up again in Olympia and other cities throughout the state. As traffic continues to increase, it will be important to stay vigilant on the roads. More traffic means more negligent drivers, more aggressive drivers, and – unfortunately – more accidents.
What Can You Do to Stay Safe on Washington’s Roads This Summer?
With this in mind, there are steps that we can all take to keep Washington’s roads as safe as possible this summer. Here are 10 safe driving tips from the car accident lawyers at Fuller & Fuller:
1. Respond to Any Important Messages Before You Go
If you have messages on your phone that you feel might take your attention from the road, respond before you go. This goes for texts, emails, direct messages, and voicemails. While you are driving, your sole focus should be on your surroundings and the road ahead.
2. Set Your Playlist and GPS Directions Before You Go
Along these same lines, set your playlist and GPS directions before you leave as well. This only takes a few seconds, and it will prevent you from interacting with your phone and your dashboard console while you are driving.
3. Turn Off Notifications on Your Phone
If you will have a hard time ignoring any new notifications on your phone while you are driving, then turn off your notifications. You can read and respond to messages when you get to your destination, and you can be confident that no one who is messaging you wants you to be distracted behind the wheel.
4. Put Your Phone Out of Reach
If you simply cannot ignore your phone when it is in close proximity, then place it out of reach. Put it somewhere that you cannot get to it from the driver’s seat so that you are not tempted to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
As you may have noticed, the first four of our safe driving tips have to do with staying off of your phone while you are driving. The reason for this is simple: According to the National Safety Council, one in four accidents involves phone-related distractions.
5. Take Care of Any Necessary Maintenance or Repairs
If it has been a while since you last drove your vehicle, it is a good idea to make sure it is still in good working order. Is your car due for an oil change, new brake pads, or new tires? Have you been neglecting a brake light that needs to be replaced? These are all issues that can increase your risk of being involved in an accident, and they are easy and relatively inexpensive to remedy.
6. Make Sure You Have an Emergency Kit
Most Washington residents know to keep some emergency supplies in their trunk during the winter months, but it is a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car, truck, or SUV year-round. You can buy pre-assembled kits online, or you can build your own with items like basic medical supplies, flares, a blanket, and some basic tools.
7. Obey the Speed Limit and All Other Rules of the Road
When you are driving, it is important to consistently obey the rules of the road. This means making sure you know the speed limit, and it also means:
- Knowing when to yield to oncoming or merging traffic
- Making sure you come to a complete stop at stop signs
- Slowing down when traffic lights turn yellow (instead of trying to “beat” the red light)
- Following other vehicles at a safe distance
- Leaving enough of a buffer before merging in front of another vehicle
8. Give Plenty of Space to Erratic Drivers
There are bad drivers out there, and it is important to do your best to avoid them. Even if someone else is acting aggressively toward you, weaving in and out of your lane, or otherwise interfering with your driving, the right approach is to give them plenty of space and make your safety your first priority.
9. Leave Early
Even though Washington’s traffic is still not back to pre-Covid levels, you still want to make sure you leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Leave early so that you are not tempted to speed or drive aggressively in traffic.
10. Know What to Do If You Are Involved in a Collision
If you are involved in a collision, contact our auto accident attorneys. Attorneys at Fuller and Fuller have been serving car accident victims for over 45 years. Our law firm serves clients in Olympia, Tacoma, Puyallup, and nearby communities of Washington.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers If You Have Been Hurt
If you have been injured in a car accident, find out how our family of lawyers can help your family. Please call (800) 570-4878 or contact us online today for an initial case review.