Charleston and other areas in South Carolina are popular tourist destinations for travelers throughout the country. During the summer months in particular, there is a tremendous influx of people that descend on our area, resulting in traffic tie ups and jams on local roads as well as highways and interstates. This can make getting to work or running daily errands more stressful and difficult, while increasing the risk for car accidents and injuries. While you cannot control the behavior of other drivers, keeping your cool when stuck in summer traffic jams can help to reduce these risks.
Avoiding Summer Car Accidents
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), more than 50,000 car accidents occur each year in the state resulting in property damage and personal injuries. On average, four collisions occur every hour, resulting in injuries for as many as ten drivers or pedestrians and causing roughly five deaths. Among the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions
- Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and failure to yield
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving, such as using cellphones or texting
- Disregarding traffic lights and signals
Due to an unfamiliarity with the areas, tourists can often end up contributing to car accidents. They may fail to notice a stop sign or other traffic signal, drive the wrong way down one way streets, or make sudden movements in traffic as they attempt to find their way around.
Decreasing Stress In Traffic
While weekends generally mean traffic gridlock near beaches and other tourism hotspots, even the weekdays can challenge local drivers’ patience. As Psychology Today advises, getting stressed out in traffic can interfere with your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate—and it can make car accidents more likely to occur. Allow yourself extra time to get where you are going, choose less crowded alternate routes, and follow these tips to keep your cool during high traffic situations:
- Practice deep, regular breathing. Focus on relaxing, rather than gripping the steering wheel, sighing or taking short, shallow breaths.
- Change your focus. Instead of concentrating on how the traffic is preventing you from getting where you want to go, focus on listening to music or books on CD.
- Do not act on negative feelings. Avoid giving dirty looks or making angry gestures at other drivers. Remind yourself that they are probably unfamiliar with the area and in the same situation as you.
- Think positive thoughts. Rather than thinking negatively about tourists, think how they contribute to the economy and how lucky you are to live in a place that so many want to visit.
Been in A Car Accident? Get Help Today
In the event an accident does occur, stay calm and notify law enforcement immediately. Exchange personal contact and insurance information with other drivers, and get medical treatment for any injuries you suffer, regardless of how minor. Notify your insurer as soon as possible, and before making any statements or signing any document, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm first. We can help negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company, so you get the maximum amount of compensation you need to recover.