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Holiday Safety: Tips for Staying Safe During Your Seasonal Rounds - Insights from a Personal Injury Lawyer

Shay + Associates Law Firm personal injury lawyer in Springfield and Decatur, Illinois

Although the holiday season can be one of the most endearing and exciting times of the year, it can also be one of the deadliest times for car accidents. Many of these accidents occur from human error, such as rushing to do last-minute shopping, driving while drunk, or texting while driving.

If you plan to make the rounds this holiday season to shop, visit loved ones, or even travel, keep the following safety tips in mind.

Shop Earlier Than Your Usual Time

Numerous consumers wait until the holidays are upon them to purchase their gifts. In their rush, some of these shoppers may practice unsafe driving as they navigate in, out, and around parking lots. The shoppers may strike unsuspecting pedestrians and other vehicles as they move about parking lots.

You can shop safely this year by purchasing your gifts early. A number of consumers choose to make their purchases before Thanksgiving to avoid the hazards of holiday shopping. Some consumers order their items online. If you purchase your gifts online, choose stores that offer fast shipping and delivery.

If you have no other alternative but to shop during the season, try to visit stores during the middle of December. Recent trends show that this time of the month may be less crowded than the beginning and ending of the month. You also don’t want to shop on days when prices are at their lowest or when sales are at their greatest.

Also, avoid stores with packed parking lots. If you can’t enter a parking lot fully or find a parking space right away, leave and choose another store for your needs. If you fight another driver over a parking space and accidentally bump into their vehicle, you may be liable for any damages or injuries the individual receives from the incident.

Along with shopping early, you can keep the season safe by watching out for careless or dangerous drivers.

Watch Out for Weaving Vehicles

Although parking lot accidents can be serious, the accidents and injuries caused by drunk, drugged, and distracted drivers can be even deadlier. Almost 800 people die in car crashes during the holidays each year. But if you know what to look for when you venture out on the road, you may avoid becoming an accident victim this year.

One of the most dangerous signs of an intoxicated, drugged, or drunk driver is weaving. Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol will weave in and out of lanes as they operate their vehicle. The drivers can also tailgate other cars, make illegal U-turns, change lanes erratically, or brake without warning.

People who text, use their navigation systems, or become distracted by some other means can also weave in and out of traffic. The drivers may also wander into oncoming traffic or into another’s driver’s lane when they take their eyes off the road to pick up a dropped pen, reach into a purse, or control an unruly child or pet.

If you notice a vehicle behaving strangely on the road, don’t hesitate to report it to the authorities. You want to memorize the car’s license plate number, model, make, and color instead of writing these features down. Unless you’re safely out of traffic or sitting at a light, don’t do anything that takes your eyes from the road.

If you do become injured on the road or in a parking lot during the holidays, seek help from an accident attorney immediately.

Consult With an Accident Attorney Before the Season Ends

Even if you receive minor injuries during your holiday accident, you still want to consult with an attorney in your area. Many states place time limits on accident claims and legal suits. If you wait until after the season ends to contact an attorney, you may lose your ability to file a claim against the other driver and their car insurance provider later.

An attorney may ask you a few crucial questions about your accident when you contact them. An attorney may need to know the location, time, and nature of your accident. You should provide as many facts about your accident to an attorney as you can. Even omitting the smallest details about your accident can keep you from filing a claim.

After an accident attorney goes over your information, they’ll help you decide what to do about your case. For example, if the other driver was severely intoxicated at the time of the accident, you may choose to file a civil case as well as pursue criminal charges against them. States like Illinois take drunk driving accidents very seriously.

Staying safe during the holiday season isn’t always easy for innocent drivers or shoppers. If you experience a serious accident on the road or in a parking lot this season, contact a personal injury lawyer at Shay & Associates Law Firm for a consultation now.

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