Summer road trips can be fun — and dangerous. Learn how to stay safe.
School is out for the summer, and for most of us, that means it’s time to hit the road for summer vacations. While many parents are focused on other details of the family road trip — like packing enough snacks and toys to keep their kids occupied during the trip — staying safe on the road should truly be the top priority. After all, if you don’t get there in one piece, you won’t have a vacation at all — or at least not an enjoyable one.
Putting together a safe travel game plan may not be as exciting as planning out what you will do once you get to your vacation destination, but it can ensure that you will get there safely (or at the very least, it will minimize the risk of being in an accident along the way). While you can’t prevent other drivers from making bad choices on the road, you can do your part to make sure that your car is in great condition and that you are operating at peak level so you and your family have a great road trip this summer.
First, start by getting your vehicle fully serviced before you hit the road. Whether your state requires annual inspections or not, it is worth it to have a mechanic do a full check of all safety systems in your car. That means taking a look at your brakes, tires, lights, and other systems. Ask your mechanic to top off all fluids, check your tire inflation and perform any other necessary services to make sure that your vehicle is in great shape for a long road trip. This is especially important if you’ll be driving on remote roads where you may not encounter a service station for miles — you will be happy knowing that your car is in the best possible shape.
Second, take time to plan your route carefully. It may be tempting to just rely on your phone or car GPS to lead you to your destination, but doing so can lead to distracted driving — and may take you to unfamiliar locations or into construction zones. If you spend some time before your trip planning out your route, you can avoid heavily travelled roads that may be more dangerous, construction zones, or areas that may be unfamiliar. You can also have your route programmed into your GPS system before you hit the road so that you don’t need to fiddle with it while driving. If you do need to change it, be sure to pull over to do so.
Third, plan for breaks. This means stopping for meals rather than eating while driving, and planning to either stay overnight at a motel or sharing driving responsibilities so that the driver always has sufficient sleep. While it may extend your travel time, making these stops will cost you far less in terms of time than being in an accident. You can prevent an accident by planning these stops.
Fourth, make sure that you stay alert. Practice your defensive driving skills by being aware of other cars and trucks on the road with you. Make sure that you are not distracted by your phone or other devices. Always maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and other vehicles to give you plenty of time to stop.
If you are involved in an accident, the car accident attorneys of the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help. Contact us at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation and learn how we can assist you in getting the money you deserve for your injuries.