Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers Urge Motorists to Drive Safely During the Holiday Season

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The personal injury lawyers of the Richmond-based law firm of Marks & Harrison say that safe driving should be a priority during the upcoming season of holiday festivities.

As the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday season, the Virginia personal injury lawyers of Marks & Harrison say that motorists should avoid driving behavior that increases the risk of accident, injury and death.

During the holidays, people tend to take trips to visit relatives, attend parties with friends, family and co-workers and make repeated trips to the shopping center or grocery store for gifts and holiday meals.

The Marks & Harrison personal injury attorneys urge motorists to stay away from the types of behavior that often arise in these driving situations, such as:

  •     Aggressive driving – Even though you may be in a hurry to complete a long trip to visit friends or family, don’t speed. Driving too fast for the conditions, which can include snow, ice, slush and sleet at this time of year, is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Additionally, be patient behind the wheel when caught in congested traffic. Rushing to make a stoplight or turn at an intersection carries dangerous consequences.
  •     Distracted driving – Put down the cell phone, texting device or any other object that takes your attention off the road. The National Safety Council estimates that at least 28 percent of all auto accidents, or at least 1.6 million crashes each year, are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting.
  •     Drowsy driving – Whether you are driving to visit a loved one or coming back from a big holiday feast, pay close attention to your level of fatigue. Fatigue or sleepiness behind the wheel accounts for more than 100,000 vehicles crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates. Look for signs of drowsiness, including yawning, heavy eyelids or wandering lanes.
  •     Drunk driving – The holidays and parties go well together. Drinking and driving don’t. Alcohol-impaired driving contributed to 243 traffic deaths in Virginia in 2009, or 32 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the NHTSA. Plan ahead and use a designated driver. Use a taxi, bus or some other form of public transportation. Arrange for someone you trust to make sure you get home. But don’t consume alcohol and drive.

Even if you are driving safely, you may be involved in an accident due to the careless or reckless conduct of another driver. If this happens, make sure to get immediate medical attention, collect insurance and license information from the other motorists involved, obtain the police accident report and consult with an attorney to learn about your rights in that situation, the car accident lawyers at Marks & Harrison say.

About Marks & Harrison

Established in 1911, Marks & Harrison represents clients in a variety of different practice areas, including personal injury, wrongful death, car accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, alcohol and drug-related accidents and pedestrian injuries. The firm features eight offices located in the Virginia cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Louisa, Charlottesville, Tappahannock, Hopewell, Staunton and Fredericksburg. To learn more about the firm and your rights if you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, call (800) 283-2202 or use the firm’s online form.

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S. Aaron Barr

Mike Dayton
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