The coronavirus epidemic has upended the lives of tens of millions of people across the United States. Georgia has been no different. However, while the “shelter-in-place” order was in effect, in Georgia, many essential workers continued to travel to and from their places of employment. The once highly congested interstates, highways and roads of the State were used at a fraction of their normal levels.
Ease Back into Driving
Now that the “shelter-in-place” order has expired, many people will be returning to their normal commutes. While not certain businesses are required to re-open, many businesses and offices are permitted to re-open, provided they comply with certain safety and health precautions. Those who are just returning to work after several weeks of no-work or working-from-home will likely notice their finely honed and tuned driving skills are not the same. Driving is an acquired skill that needs to be maintained, otherwise like those skills can atrophy. The result is an increase in traffic accidents as things begin to return to a more normal pattern. However, there are steps you can take to ease back into the day-to-day grind and help protect yourself from an accident.
Getting back to your normal driving routine and habits, after several weeks off, will likely take some time. In many ways, it will be bit like leaning to drive all over again – especially in traffic and congestion. Remember the following tips in the coming weeks:
Inspect Your Vehicle
Cars that have been sitting idle for prolonged periods may need a visit to your local mechanic to make sure everything is still in working order.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Some of us may have gotten complacent while driving on an eight or ten-lane highway with only a handful of other cars to worry about. It is a good time to review first principles, make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly so you have a good line of sight and that all of your warning and signal lights are working correctly.
Acknowledge Your Reflexes and Coordination Are Not The Same
The time most of us have spent not driving, is akin to having surgery and not being able to drive for several weeks. As we start back driving, we must be careful are we regain adequate muscle control for braking and accelerating. Remember: any deteriorating in your driving skills may lead to mistakes that could put you in danger.
The Rules of The Road Are Still in Effect
When you are on the highway it may be tempting to drive faster than normal as traffic volumes are still light. However, you should be extra careful to obey the rules of the road and make sure that you are obeying all posted speed limits. The fact that traffic volume has not fully returned to normal yet is no excuse for reckless driving! Even though traffic volumes are lower, the same number of law enforcement are patrolling the roads. This is alone is a good reason to be cautious and aware of your surroundings – you do not want a ticket or points on your license.
Drivers should not take anything for granted and always remember to drive defensively, especially on busy roadways.
Now, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself in an accident through no fault of your own. During these trying times, people are likely to be more agitated and stressed than usual. It is important that you remain cool, calm, and collected. You do not want an already stressful situation to escalate into a road rage incident with possibly dire consequences.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident, you owe it to yourself and your family to get checked-out by a medical practitioner. At Georgia Trial Attorneys, we are here to help you and your family through the whirlwind that is a car accident. We will hold the at-fault insurance company accountable to ensure you get the medical and financial recovery that you deserve.