With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, many people are rushing to get their holiday shopping done. This time of year is usually full of hustle and bustle, however, with the rise in COVID-19 cases and new government restrictions put in place, many retailers will have limited store hours, unlike past years when many stores had extended hours during the holiday season, which may mean more traffic on the roads as everyone tries to get their shopping completed.
While many people are taking advantage of online shopping options, there are times that a trip to the mall is necessary. If you do have to venture out, the following tips can help you avoid becoming a car accident victim.
Make sure to plan ahead before leaving your home. Check Google Maps, Waze, or other traffic apps to see what the traffic looks like and if there are any secondary routes you can take. Also, make sure to check the weather reports before you head out to make sure you won’t get stuck in bad weather driving situations. Plan on their being heavier traffic than usual and allow yourself extra time than normally needed to get to your destination, so you aren’t rushing.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Before you head out for shopping or any other travel, you want to make sure your car is in good working order. One of the most frustrating things that can happen is having your car breakdown in dark, cold, wintery weather when it's full of gifts and other items you’ve purchased. Check your car’s oil and other fluids, and don’t forget the windshield washer fluid. Make sure your tires are in good shape and have the proper pressure. Make sure all of the vehicle’s lights are working and there is plenty of gas in the tank.
If you are going to a different mall or store than you usually shop at, make sure to set your GPS before you leave your home. Never try to set it as you are driving. You should also avoid eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, or any other distracted driving behaviors that could cause you to take your eyes off the road. Even looking away from the road for a couple of seconds can result in a deadly crash.
Keep These Essentials in Your Vehicle
There are items you should keep in your vehicle at all times and other items that lifestyle changes in 2020 have added to the list. These include:
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Anti-bacterial wipes
When you do arrive at your destination, it is important not to let your guard down. Parking lots can be just as dangerous as the roads. With people driving in and out, looking for that scarce empty parking space, many forget to watch for pedestrians, so be careful as you walk in and out of the stores to your vehicle. If the weather has been bad or temperatures have dropped, you also want to be careful of driving and walking on parking lot surfaces which can cause your vehicle to go into a skid or you to fall as you are walking.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you may take to stay safe, there are far too many other drivers on the road who fail to do the same. If you are injured in a car accident, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have.
The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Va. car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 or a free case evaluation.