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Driving in Unfamiliar Places: How to Stay Safe and Avoid a Crash

With the holidays approaching, a lot of people will be getting in their cars and driving to new destinations.

couple packing for holiday travel

Statistics show that most accidents happen close to home. And, it makes sense: the place is familiar, you know every turn and pothole, and feel safe. And, when you are feeling safe behind the wheel, you may lower your guard and not paying as much attention as you should.

However, even though familiar places are more dangerous than new ones, accidents can happen when you are driving somewhere you don’t know. With the holidays approaching, a lot of people will be getting in their cars and driving to new destinations. Therefore, we’ve put together a list of tips that will keep you safe.

Always Pay Attention to the Speed Limit Signs

It should go without saying: always be aware of the speed limits when driving on an unfamiliar road. Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents, and you can get hurt as well as hurt others in an accident. Some GPSs show you the speed limits, but their software might not always be updated, so watching for the actual speed signs is best.

Even if you are aware of the speed limit, keep your speed under that limit and don’t push towards the higher end.

Plan Your Trip Ahead

Eliminate as many unknown variables by researching your trip ahead. Use traffic apps or a simple map to decide what route to take, and consider alternative routes as well in case something happens on the way. Find out about local traffic laws if traveling out-state, and check info on road tolls and other details related to your trip.

Choose a Car Rental That Is Fit for the Road

Depending on the area you will visit, renting the right car is going to impact your trip. For instance, choose a smaller car if you drive in a busy city, and an SUV if you know you will be on difficult roads. Ask the rental company for advice if you are unsure about this.

Be Aware of Traffic Laws in the Area

This is an essential tip, particularly for people traveling outside the country. Aside from avoiding traffic violations, becoming aware of traffic laws allows drivers to know the traffic situation in a particular area. Roundabouts, strange traffic signs, or weird intersections may be present in some towns, and it will be easier for drivers to navigate these unfamiliar areas if they are knowledgeable about these features.

Practice Cautious Driving

This should be done anytime you are on the road, but when in a familiar area, some drivers may tend to allow themselves to perform some riskier maneuvers. When you are in an unfamiliar area, reckless driving will not only get you lost faster, but it will also increase the chances of getting into a car accident significantly.

Expect Some Mistakes and Deal with Them Calmly

Even if you have a GPS, a well-researched plan and are paying attention to the speed signs, you can still miss some turns, pass some exits or take the wrong road. Don’t panic or get angry when this happens, as intense emotions can make you drive recklessly. When something like this happens, keep calm and find your way out of the situation. If needed, pullover or go to the nearest gas station to plan your return to the route.

If you’ve been in an accident while traveling to a new destination, then you should contact an experienced St. Louis car injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will know how to help you get compensated for your injuries and damages.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Free Consultation (314) 361-4242
Updated: October 28, 2022