You’re taking a family road trip. Maybe you’re traveling to a new city in search of gainful employment. It doesn’t matter why you have found yourself driving through an unfamiliar area — what matters is knowing how to do it safely.
People are injured in accidents each year caused by drivers who were unfamiliar with the local roads. If you take a moment and ready yourself for the road that lies ahead, you are much less likely to be involved an accident due to some error on your part or the negligence of another driver.
1. Rent Something Similar
If you are vacationing and renting a car, choose one that is similar to your own. It can be tempting to rent something that you would never dream of buying for yourself, but you will be safer if you now the basics of the vehicle’s operation. If the rental agency doesn’t have a similar model, at least opt for something the same size as what you are used to.
2. Learn the Vehicle
Before you drive off in a rented vehicle, spend a moment familiarizing yourself with its controls. Find the switches for the headlights and turn signals, know how to operate the climate control system and any other technology you may use. Adjust your seat and the mirrors as well.
3. Plan Your Route
Take time to plan your route before you leave home. Program your GPS while you are still in the driveway. If you need to re-route at some point, pull into a safe area to do so. You don’t want to have an argument with your GPS while you are driving down the highway.
4. Remember Turn Signals
So many of us get out of the habit of using turn signals when we are driving close to home. Always use your turn signals and use them well in advance. This will give other drivers an indication of your desired way of travel with enough time to react appropriately.
5. Don’t Make Dangerous Maneuvers
There may come a time that you just miss an exit or turn. Don’t slam on your brakes and try to make it. Simply drive on to the next exit, letting your GPS recalculate itself. If it’s a turn you missed, make your way to the next street, shopping center or parking lot and turn around.
Driving on unfamiliar roads can be stressful. If you can avoid it, don’t drive at night. keep your driving to the day time until you learn the lay of the land. If you do happen to be involved in an accident in a location you aren’t familiar with, call emergency services for help.
If you are involved in an accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, our experienced car accident attorneys are here for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review your accident and help you determine what type of compensation you may be legally entitled to.