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5 tips for tourists on unfamiliar roads

Summer brings plenty of tourism to Florida. Children get out of school. Parents take time off of work. College students get a break that they embrace, knowing they'll have full-time jobs soon enough.

Plus, with the economy still rising after the recession a decade ago, people have more disposable income. That means more trips, more vacations and more miles on the road.

The dangers of the road

Unfortunately, that can raise the risks. Some of it is just statistical. With more people traveling and more cars on the road, odds are that accidents will rise as well.

Still, some of the risk comes from the fact that the roads are unfamiliar. Tourists get lost, they get confused and they may make mistakes that local drivers have an easier time avoiding. This can increase the risks even more. Below are a few tips for tourists that can help keep everyone safe:

1. Use a GPS

A updated GPS helps you find the right roads with ease, and it can reduce distraction. When you do not have to look at a map and strain to read street signs as you drive, you're a safer driver.

2. Watch for hazards that are new to you

For instance, if you are from the city and driving in the country, remember that farm equipment often uses local roads. It slows down traffic and blocks lanes. If you're from the country and driving in the city, be ready for packed roads with multi-lane traffic and a lot of traffic signals. It can be a chaotic experience.

3. Prepare for environmental differences

Florida does get hit with tropical rainstorms. If you're from a dry part of the country, make sure you know how to drive in the rain. Hydroplaning is a serious hazard, for example, that can send your car out of control.

4. Do not make mistakes worse with sudden corrections

You may make mistakes, but that does not mean they have to turn into car accidents. For instance, you may get trapped in the left lane and miss your exit because you did not realize how close it was. Do not panic and cut off other drivers as you try to charge across every travel lane. Just remain calm and focus on getting off at the next exit to turn around.

5. Don't be afraid to slow down

There is nothing wrong with slowing down and driving carefully as you figure out where you are going. Sometimes, having the right mindset and understanding the challenges you face can be enough to keep you safe.

Of course, you can use all five of these tips and still get in an accident due to someone else's negligence. Make sure you know your rights, especially after serious injuries, like a traumatic brain injury.

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