Summer has almost arrived, and that means it’s nearly time for millions of Americans to hit the road on their summer trips. Having so many drivers on the road, however, increases the likelihood of accidents, both large and small. Before you plan your big summer road trip, it is important that you take the proper precautions to make sure that you and your family stay safe once you hit the highway. If you and your family are planning a summer vacation road trip, read on to learn some simple, effective driving tips to help you avoid a car accident.
Perform Regular Maintenance Before You Set Out
Crucial to any safe road trip is a properly functioning vehicle. Sticking to your car’s suggested maintenance schedule should ensure that it’s ready to hit the open road this summer. However, if you’ve neglected your vehicle’s upkeep, it is important that you get a maintenance check before you plan a long road trip. Making sure that your vehicle is running smoothly will help to prevent sudden breakdowns and catastrophic malfunctions that leave you stranded on the road side during the summer heat. Additionally, you should find out if your vehicle is under any recall warnings before you set out on any long expeditions.
Go Through a Safety Checklist
Once you’ve had your maintenance check, it is important that you go through a standard safety checklist before you set out. Give your tires a once over, paying closest attention to the air pressure and health of the treads. Test your wipers to be certain that they’re ready for those sudden summer downpours. Measure all your fluid levels and top them off if they seem low. Finally, make sure that your A/C system is fully functional so that all of your passengers can ride in comfort. After you’ve performed your safety check, your vehicle should be ready to go.
Protect Your Most Vulnerable Passengers
If you’re going on a family road trip, the most important thing you can do is to protect the safety of your most vulnerable passengers: your children. Buckle your children’s seatbelts every single time you enter the car, even for short trips. Very small children also need to use compliant safety seats to give them the proper level of protection. Children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures, which makes it important that you never leave a child in a car unattended—not even with the engine running. Following these simple rules will make sure your children are safe and happy throughout your summer road trip.
Be Sure to Stay Alert
One of the largest causes of most car accidents is inattentive driving. Often times, this is caused by a driver who has not taken enough breaks while on the road and has become drowsy. Build in a few pit stops on your road trip to avoid fatigue, and make sure to pull off the road—or switch drivers—if you find yourself becoming sleepy. It is also important to make sure that you are constantly aware of your surroundings, paying particular attention to pedestrians and other drivers. Being alert means you will be less likely to suffer a car accident during your trip.
Practice Safe Driving Techniques
There is more to driving safely than simply being alert; you must also avoid bad driving techniques that can cause accidents. Steer clear of driving distracted: adjusting your radio or checking your phone when a text or call comes through. You should also be wary of driving impaired. In addition to the obvious impairments, like drugs or alcohol, you should be aware of side effects of any medications you are taking, some of which can include drowsiness. Lastly, make sure your car is stocked with an emergency kit that includes items like road flares, a first aid kit and jumper cables. Avoiding bad driving is integral in keeping you and your family safe on the road.
What to Do if You’ve Had a Car Accident
Unfortunately, even if you’ve followed all the correct safety practices, you can still get into a car accident thanks to the negligence of other drivers. When you’ve suffered a car accident through no fault of your own, you need the representation of Harris and Graves, Personal Injury Attorneys. Our knowledgeable team can handle your personal injury case with the utmost care, fighting to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us right away after you’ve experienced a car accident so that we can start helping you recover.