Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Summer: Watch out for the influx of visitors in Virginia

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It's nearly summer, and that means that the streets in Virginia will be filled with visitors from all over the country. Virginia is a hot destination for vacationers, and with plenty to do and see, you probably also enjoy getting out and about on your days off.

One problem with living in a popular coastal state is that there's a potential for heavy traffic on the highways and residential roads. People who are unfamiliar with the area could make mistakes that put people's lives at risk. For example, on the whole, U-turns are not legal in Virginia except in very particular cases. Other states, like Kentucky, allow and promote their use. A driver unaware of these differences in traffic laws could make an error that causes an accident.

How can you stay safe this summer?

The first step is to pay attention to when events and holidays are coming up. On those days, give yourself plenty of time to get where you want to go. If you need to go to work or are heading to the coast, plan for heavy traffic and consider taking back routes to avoid the congested highways when possible.

Another thing drivers should do in the summer is to make sure they drink plenty of water when they're behind the wheel. Virginia gets hot, and even sitting in a car in the sun can result in dehydration. Staying hydrated keeps you alert and focused as you drive.

Remember that the summer sun sets a little later in the evening than in other months, so bring sunglasses and use your car's visor. The glare from the sun between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. can make it hard to see, depending on the way you're traveling. It's a good idea to avoid driving at times when the sun is at eye level, so you avoid making mistakes due to missing visual cues.

What should you do if you are hit?

If you do end up in a collision, stay at the scene and make sure to call for help. You should exchange information with the driver who hit you. Get insurance information, the vehicle's license plate number and other ways to get into contact with the driver. Additionally, take photos of your vehicle and injuries you or your passengers suffered, so you can provide that evidence to your attorney before he or she negotiates with the insurance company.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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