Summertime is known as road trip season, as people often take their vacation during the summer months when the weather is warm and kids are out of school. Unfortunately, this can also become disaster season if you fail to properly prepare before hitting the open road.
Whether you are cruising down a scenic road or driving straight down an interstate to your vacation destination, it is important that you follow these tips in order to stay safe during this summer’s driving season:
- Have your car serviced before the trip. To ensure your vehicle is road-ready, get an oil change and have a mechanic inspect the battery, belts, air conditioner, fluids, and tires.
- Get the proper sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep before driving so that you can stay alert on the road. Drowsy driving is responsible for approximately 72,000 crashes every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you feel tired, make sure you pull over somewhere safe or switch off driving with another adult.
- Put down your phone. Many people feel that if they are talking on a hands-free device, they are safe, but studies have revealed that even using a hands-free device is still dangerous. Anything (e.g. phone calls, texts, emails, and social media) that causes you to take your hands off the wheel or mind off of driving can contribute to distracted driving.
- Keep children entertained so they don’t cause you to be a distracted driver. Many parents take their eyes off the road to deal with their kids. Before you leave, make sure your kids have their drinks and snacks within reach and that they have games to play, a movie to watch, or their favorite music to listen to. If your children are distracting you despite your preparations, ask the front seat passenger to help or safely pull over so that you don’t get into an accident.
- Know where to and not to drive. Many accidents take place in blind spots, which is why you should avoid driving in someone else’s blind spot and always double check your blind spots before changing lanes. Also, avoid cruising in the left lane, as that is where most highway crashes occur.
By preparing beforehand and following these tips, your chances of being in a car crash will be reduced. However, if you have been in a traffic accident on a road trip, it is important to seek legal advice. Feel free to call our office or start an online chat with us, and we will be happy to provide you with answers to your questions in a free consultation.