Summer Road Trip Safety Tips
Whether it’s to visit family, check out a national landmark, or just get out and do something different, millions of other Americans are planning to take to the roads this summer. After all, with the country opening back up after a year of lockdowns and isolation, plenty of people are tired of sitting at home and thinking of hitting the road for a road trip vacation.
At GreeningLaw, P.C., we want everyone to have a blast this summer, which is why we’re offering some helpful tips and advice so you can take to the road with confidence.
Tip #1 – Buckle up.
This one is so obvious you may think it goes without saying, but even though you may wear your seatbelt every time you get behind the wheel, you’d be surprised how many don’t. And that’s a problem because this one simple step definitely saves lives.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people in America under 55. Wearing a seat belt cuts the risk of being severely injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident by more than 50%, which is why this is at the top of our list for tips for road trip safety.
Tip #2 – Make sure your car is ready for the trip.
No one wants to end up stranded on the side of a highway because their car broke down, it’s an inconvenience (to say the least) and it puts you in a dangerous position. You have a better chance of avoiding this kind of scenario if you take a little time to do a once-over on your vehicle before you head out. Simply schedule a quick maintenance appointment at your local garage or, if you’re mechanically inclined, do it yourself.
Make sure this once over involves checking all of the important things like:
- Fluid levels, especially oil and coolant
- Tire pressures and tread levels
- Battery charge
- Spare tire (don’t get caught with a flat spare!)
- Brakes and brake fluid
- Belts, caps, hoses and filters
- Headlights, turn signals
- Wiper blades and windshield wiper fluid
Don’t skimp on repairs if you want to make sure your car can make the trip. A little preventative maintenance will probably cost you a lot less than if something catastrophic happens out on the open road.
Tip #3 – Pack proper tools.
If something does go wrong, say you get a flat tire or someone is injured on a pit stop and needs first aid, packing the right tools can prove invaluable. You can buy a prepacked emergency kit from stores or online, or you can easily pack your own.
A basic emergency kit should include:
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and batteries
- Tool kit or multi-tool
- Jumper cables
- Car charger for your cell phone
- Candles and matches
- Non-perishable food items, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruit
- Drinking water
- Rain poncho
- Duct tape
Tip #4 – Make sure to get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel.
Stats show that driving drowsy is extremely dangerous, with staying awake for 18 hours reducing your basic functionality to the same level as someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.05%, which is enough to take away your ability to react quickly, make prompt and sound decisions, and even keep your car in the correct lane.
Besides a lack of sleep, other things can contribute to drowsy driving, including medications or boredom. If you feel yourself getting tired, the best things you can do are trade off with someone who’s awake and alert, make a pitstop to get out and stretch your legs and get your blood pumping, or talk with your passengers to keep yourself alert.
If possible, though, the safest course of action is to take break, get some sleep, and then get back on the road when you’re well rested.
Tip #5 – Drive defensively.
This is one that can be tough on a good road trip with others, but it’s critical to pay attention and try to anticipate danger before it’s too late. After all, the best way to stay safe is to avoid all of the emergencies you spent time planning for. This means:
- Keeping your vehicle at a safe speed
- Watching for any hazards on the road
- Getting out of the way of any tailgaters or aggressive drivers
- Making sure you have plenty of gas between exits
If you follow these tips, you should be able to stay calm and collected while driving and avoid most potential dangers before they arise.
If you’re injured on the road during a trip this summer, we want to help
At GreeningLaw P.C., we understand that summertime is a special time of the year, and a road trip vacation is one of the best ways to spend it. However, even if you follow all of the above tips, things can still go awry, and others can ruin your summer due to carelessness and/or negligence.
If you end up getting in a car accident any time of year, it’s important to hire an experienced legal team like the one at GreeningLaw, P.C. Our lawyers have handled plenty of motor vehicle accident cases and know how to properly investigate, litigate, and negotiate on your behalf to get you the best compensation possible. We’re recognized as one of the leading personal injury law firms in Texas for a reason, and we’re ready to help when you need us.
Call or schedule a free consultation online and we’ll go over all the elements of your case, discuss any possible compensation you may receive, and recommend your best course of action.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal, and we hope everyone has a happy, safe summer this year!