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Driving tips for a safe holiday season

Georgia residents who are driving to their destinations for the holidays should consider a few tips regarding car maintenance and safe driving techniques. That way, they can protect themselves and their families in the midst of severe winter weather and rushing drivers.

AAA recommends several tasks, which should only take a week to accomplish. Drivers should properly inflate their tires, which can deflate in cold weather; replace the wiper blades; test the battery and get the oil changed to a kind that can stand up to the weather. The brakes are especially important because stopping distances will increase on wet, icy and snowy roads.

The agency also recommends having an emergency kit in the vehicle. It should include the basics like a first aid kit, an ice scraper, a snow brush and jumper cables. Gloves, blankets, warm clothes and even drinks and snacks should go into the kits in case drivers are stranded.

Drivers should always plan their routes ahead of time and give themselves more time to avoid rushing. Smartphone apps are available that can alert drivers to heavy traffic and tell them what weather conditions will be like. Drivers should also maintain an eight-to-10-second rule with the car in front of them, accelerate and brake slowly and avoid distractions. They should also take breaks to avoid fatigue during long drives.

Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these instructions, even when they seem to be common sense. When fatigue, distraction or impatience lead to a motor vehicle accident, the driver will be at fault for any injuries or damage that he or she causes. The victim can hire an attorney to help with the personal injury claim, and the attorney can in turn hire investigators and other experts to establish proof of the other party's negligence. If negotiations with the insurance companies fall through, the victim can then litigate.

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