At this time of year, many Kansas residents know what to expect on the roads. The seasons are changing, and weather and wildlife can be serious safety issues. However, law enforcement agencies began to see a rise in traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities since early spring, and with the holiday season ahead, they do not expect matters to improve.
Unfortunately, if you need to be on the road over the next few weeks, you are likely to encounter situations that place you at risk. You can increase your chances of arriving safely to your destination by wearing your seatbelt and practicing good sense behind the wheel. However, even these steps do not always defend a traveler from the negligence and reckless actions of other drivers.
Wildlife and other hazards
Animals in the road are common at this time of year, so all drivers should reduce their speed in areas where it is possible to encounter one. If a deer steps into your lane, the instinctive reaction is to veer to the right or left. However, police say the safest course of action is to remain in your lane and allow your vehicle to hit the animal. Another driver who is not so cautious may swerve into your lane or lose traction on a slick roadway, causing a serious collision.
Failing to use caution when encountering animals is not the only way in which other drivers may be negligent. At this time of year, you may find yourself dealing with drivers who do the following:
- Fail to reduce speed during adverse conditions
- Drive while distracted
- Habitually drive exceedingly faster than the posted speed limit
- Follow you too closely, especially in adverse conditions
- Consume alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel
Nearly 400 people have died this year on Kansas roads, and the coming weeks typically see an increase in travel as people celebrate the holidays. Already, the rate of accidents and fatalities exceeds the statistics from this time last year by more than 5%, with the critical travel times still ahead.
In the event of an accident
If you are involved in an accident, you can expect to deal with many complex consequences. Your own injuries, the injuries of your passengers or the loss of loved one will be high on your list. You will also have to face the insurance company and the medical bills that may even begin to arrive before the pain of your injuries subsides.
Fortunately, you do not have to go through these things alone. Having a skilled legal advocate on your side means having access to the experience and resources that can improve the chances of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve to get back on your feet and back into your life.