As Memorial Day approaches, the longtime tradition of “getting away from it all” commences for many California residents. Those who choose to get to their vacation destinations via motor vehicle should know the risks of road travel.

Risks are part of driving year-round. Maintaining vehicles, wearing seatbelts, and avoiding smartphone distractions are only the beginning. Accidents reached record levels last year. The NTSTA notes that Saturdays, particularly between 6:00 to 7:00 pm, see more crashes than any other time.

Combined with the hazards that come with summer travel, attentive driving is not only vital but can save lives.

Hazards can take various forms and include:

Construction zones

Another summer tradition is the increase in road construction projects. More traffic, detours, and other delays leave drivers frustrated and impatient, resulting in more aggressive operation of a motor vehicle. Avoiding work zones is the best strategy, but it may not be possible.

Traveling in work zones requires time, patience, and adherence to signs that note specific lane closures. Merging early, slowing down, increasing following distance, and avoiding distractions are vital for safety for those inside and outside the vehicle.

Motorcycles sharing the road

Traveling by motorcycle presents risks, especially when sharing the road with larger cars and trucks. The skyrocketing popularity over the years has resulted in unprecedented two-wheel transport. Still, crashes occur with motor vehicle operators claiming that they did not see the bike. Driver awareness is a necessity to prevent accidents.

Keeping a safe distance is necessary with any vehicle. For motorcycles, providing more room will account for changes in speed and sudden stops.

Extra care for non-motorized vehicles

More than anyone else traveling the road, bicyclists are at the greatest risk of severe and fatal injuries. While accommodations have been made in the form of bike lanes, collisions can occur in a split second. The seemingly harmless act of opening a car door can result in catastrophe. Like motorcyclists, not being seen can result in life-changing consequences.

Both drivers and riders must follow the rules of the road. Drivers of vehicles should respect the rights of bicyclists and motorcyclists through attentive driving.

Summer vacations are a time to relax and recharge. Safe travel to desired destinations can make that happen.


By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on March 18, 2021