School is back in session.

It’s getting dark earlier every day.

The holiday season is right around the corner.

It’s a good time for a driving safety reminder and safe driving tips.

These factors can increase the likelihood of an accident, so it’s imperative to follow a variety of safety tips to avoid trouble. Here are 7 to keep in mind:

  • Don’t drink and drive: You may think it’s okay to have a drink or two and then get behind the wheel, but this is a big mistake. Just the same, watch for other drivers who may not be 100 percent sober.
  • Get enough rest: You don’t want to hit the road when you’re tired. Instead, get enough rest before you get behind the wheel.
  • Visit your mechanic: Vehicle maintenance is important to your safety, so visit your mechanic before you embark on your trip.
  • Slow down: Not only does speeding increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket, but it does the same for being part of a motor vehicle accident. Pay attention to the posted speed limit at all times.
  • Plan your route in advance: This can help you avoid traffic jams and construction zones, all the while saving you time.
  • Prepare for a potential emergency: You hope your vehicle doesn’t break down. You also hope you’re not part of an accident. Even so, you need to plan for the worst just in case it happens.
  • Avoid distractions: It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling alone or with others, it’s easy to become distracted when driving. You may be tempted to send a text message, grab a bite to eat or turn around to see what your children are doing in the back seat. All of these things increase the chance of an accident.

If you’re part of a motor vehicle accident you should move to safety, call for help and administer first aid if applicable.

Once you receive medical treatment, contact your insurance company to file a claim. Also, learn more about the cause of the crash, such as by reviewing the police report, as this information will help you decide how to best protect your legal rights.