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Auto Accident Safety Guide for the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

June 2023

Summer travel can be a lot of fun! Especially in the frigid Midwest, summer is a fantastic time to enjoy the great outdoors, attend festivals, and hang out with friends. People love to travel, and the travel frenzy is at its peak between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

However, the period, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, is also referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer“. During these days, the average number of road accidents and deaths increases significantly.

As of May 25 this year, there have been 122 traffic fatalities according to the traffic fatality count of the Iowa Department of Transportation. This figure is almost 11% higher compared to last year’s data during the same period and represents a 22% increase from the average of the past five years.

Regrettably, recent fatalities are partly caused by distracted driving due to the use of cellphones and other devices. Additionally, not wearing a seat belt is a significant factor contributing to these accidents, accounting for 60% of the total fatalities. Similarly, speeding, drunk driving, and aggressive driving are common factors cited in the news report.

A law was passed that prohibits drivers from using handheld devices or phones while driving, except for making phone calls or using GPS. Furthermore, individuals under the age of 18 are strictly prohibited from using any electronic devices while driving.

Although the regulation specifically targets the use of handheld devices, distracted driving encompasses more than just phones when it comes to safety. It can refer to any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road, such as eating, checking one’s appearance in the rearview mirror, or rummaging through a disorganized dashboard console.

Talking to the local media, Sergeant Alex Dinkla of the Iowa State Patrol emphasized the dangers of distracted driving, suggesting that it’s equivalent to closing one’s eyes while driving at 55 miles an hour

To prepare for the oncoming season, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is currently participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign, which focuses on enforcing seat belt laws to reduce traffic fatalities. Please be cautious and ensure that you’re wearing your seat belt while driving.

As part of our commitment to safety, we’re also releasing a compact safety guide aimed at keeping everyone safe. Read it before hitting the road this summer.

Drive Smart

When driving, make sure to wear your seatbelt and follow traffic laws, including speed limits and traffic signals. Also, remember to avoid distractions such as texting or eating while driving, and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

Before traveling long distances, don’t forget to maintain your vehicle, including checking tire pressure, brakes, and headlights. Weather conditions can also affect driving safety, so adjust your driving accordingly during rain, snow, or fog.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Follow these guidelines to ensure a safe road trip:

  • Put your phone away. This includes turning it off, silencing it, or putting it in a hands-free device.
  • Don’t eat or drink while driving. Consuming food takes your attention away from the road and can make you more likely to spill something.
  • Don’t talk to passengers unless it’s an emergency. Even a brief conversation can take your attention away from the road.
  • Avoid adjusting your mirrors, radio, or other controls while driving. Make these adjustments before you start driving or pull over to the side of the road.

Tips to Avoid Impaired Driving

Here are some great tips to avoid impaired driving:

  • If you plan to drink alcohol or use drugs, plan ahead and arrange for a designated driver or alternate transportation.
  • If you’re taking medication, make sure to read the label and understand any warnings about driving or operating machinery.
  • If you feel drowsy or fatigued, avoid driving and find a safe place to rest.
  • Be aware of your limits and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s not worth the risk to yourself or others on the road.

Hands-free Law

In Minnesota, a hands-free bill signed by Gov. Tim Walz on April 12, 2019, went into effect on August 1, 2019. The new law allows drivers to use their cell phones for calls, texting, music, podcasts, and directions, but only through voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone.

However, it’s essential to remember that hands-free does not necessarily mean distraction-free. The law prohibits drivers from holding their phones while driving and using them for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at videos or photos stored on the phone, using non-navigation apps, reading texts, and scrolling or typing on the phone.

Drivers can only hold their phones in emergencies or when there is an immediate threat to life and safety.

Motorcycle Riding Tips

Riding a motorcycle requires additional safety measures. Bikers should always wear proper safety gear, such as a DOT-approved helmet, gloves, boots, and protective clothing.

Use turn signals and hand signals to communicate with other drivers. In addition, avoid blind spots, stay alert, and focus on bumps on the road. If you can, take a motorcycle safety course because it will help you improve your motorcycle riding skills and knowledge.

Need Legal Assistance

If you or a loved one is injured in an car, truck or motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact the law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben for assistance. We have experienced lawyers who can help you understand your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve. Your health and well-being are our top priority. We will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today at (612) 377-7777 or 1 (800) 752-4265 to schedule a consultation.

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