With summer comes family vacations, weekend trips, and trips to new destinations. Unfortunately, not all drivers are responsible behind the wheel. Negligent drivers may choose to drive distracted or fatigued, or break traffic laws in an attempt to get to their vacation location faster. When this happens, accidents are a real possibility. The increased traffic on the roads also contributes to a rise in crashes.
If you’re planning on taking a road trip this summer, there are steps you can take to ensure you have a safe trip and arrive at your destination unharmed. It’s important to note that the majority of the steps take place before you even get behind the wheel.
1) Service Your Vehicle
When you’re planning on driving your vehicle a considerable distance, you’ll want to ensure everything is in working order. To ensure this, you may want to consider having your vehicle serviced by a qualified mechanic. If you make an appointment, make sure they do the following:
- Top off fluid levels, including windshield wiper fluid and coolant
- Check filter and oil levels
- Checks tires for proper inflation
- Rotate tires
- Change air filter
- Test brakes and battery
- Inspect hoses and belts
- Change transmission fluid
Once you know your vehicle is in worker order and will get you where you’re planning on going, you can work on planning out your route.
2) Plan Your Route
With today’s technology, mapping out your travel plans is simple; but it’s a crucial step in ensuring a safe summer road trip. No matter what digital mapping app you use, you should plan your route ahead of time. Previewing it will ensure there are no surprise turns or exits on your trip. You should also look into possible road closures and constructions zones. Prepare ahead for weather like rain or dense fog. It’s also a good idea to let a trusted family member or friend know where you’re going and when you’re planning on arriving.
3) Pack an Emergency Bag
It never hurts to be prepared for a number of situations. In the event you are stranded, your car breaks down, or you’re in an accident, the following items may be of some use:
- Nonperishable snacks
- Blankets or coats
- A flashlight
- Extra batteries
- Jumper cables
- Tool to change a tire
- A cell phone charger
- A first-aid kit
Depending on how far you’re traveling, you could also consider subscribing to a roadside assistance plan. You can get a variety of policies. This will ensure you receive help in the event of an accident or mishap.
4) Prioritize Safety
Once you get on the road, you’ll want to remember to prioritize your safety as best you can. This will reduce your chances of getting into an accident. As a responsible driver, you’ll want to take the following safe driving tips into consideration:
- Always wear your seat belt
- Adjust your seat and mirrors before you start driving
- Abide by all posted speed limits and signs
- Be attentive and aware of your surroundings and the other vehicles traveling nearby
- Use your turn signals and headlights when appropriate
- Pass other vehicles carefully
- Look over your vehicle when you stop to take breaks
- Avoid using your cell phone while driving
- Never drink alcohol and drive
5) Take Regular Breaks
Fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous. If a person is tired enough, fatigued driving is comparable to drunk driving. It’s understandable that you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible when you’re on a road trip, but it’s crucial to remember you need to get their safely. This involves being aware at all times behind the wheel. If you feel yourself becoming tired, it’s best to pull over at the nearest rest stop. Getting out of your car to stretch, eat, and grab something to drink is a good idea. If you’re still feeling tired, closing your eyes for a quick nap is the best way to go.
If your summer road trip doesn’t go as planned because of a negligent driver’s actions or inactions, you can take legal action. When a car accidents results in injuries, property damage, and other losses, you have the right to seek compensation to aid in your recovery.
Understanding the process can be overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with recovery or are helping loved ones recover. If you work with us, you won’t have to worry. We’ll make sure you understand your rights and work to get you the compensation you need to get your life back in order. Contact us today to learn more.