Summer is a great time to hit the road with your friends and family. Adults and children of all ages typically enjoy exploring new places. However, while you are seeking adventure, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of an auto accident.
1. Ensure Your Car Is in Good Condition
Before you set off on any road trip, you should inspect your vehicle thoroughly. It’s a good idea to have a professional mechanic perform a checkup on your tires, lights, battery, brakes, wipers, and other parts. Don’t forget to fill your fluids and get a fresh oil change, if needed. Your air filters should also be routinely replaced. You don’t want to end up without a functioning vehicle in a strange place.
2. Frequently Stop for Breaks
No matter how far you are driving, you should schedule frequent breaks to stretch your legs and stay well rested. Driving fatigue can set in when you focus on the road without any other stimulation for hours on end. This can make you less responsive to emergency situations. Stop at a rest stop, gas station, restaurant, or tourist attraction and get out of your vehicle and walk around for at least 5 to 10 minutes to relieve lower back pain, get blood flowing in your legs, and refresh your thought processes.
3. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Nearly every state (except New Hampshire) has a law requiring all front-seat occupants of vehicle to wear seat belts. Many states also require rear-seat passengers to wear available seat belts. Not only is it required, but it will prevent some of the most severe injuries and even death if you are involved in a crash.
4. Avoid Driving in Blind Spots
Many motor vehicles like large trucks have significant blind spots where they can’t see other cars around them. IF you drive in these blind spots, then you risk a sideswipe accident or being run off the road. While the other driver is definitely negligent if they don’t carefully look around them and remain aware of their blind spots, you can take action to prevent an accident.
5. Be Aware of Rush Hour in Urban Areas
As you travel through large cities and urban areas, you should be careful to avoid rush hour. The times when people are traveling to and from work can be the most dangerous, especially for rear-end car accidents. If you want to avoid unnecessary stress and the potential for accidents, you should schedule your trip around rush hour in cities.
6. Be Familiar with Your Route
Although most people use GPS to get from one place to another on road trips, it’s best to have a general idea of the major highways you will be taking. You should also know the cities through which you will be traveling. GPS services may fail or your phone or other electronic device may shut down and you will have no way to navigate without a general knowledge of your route.
7. Keep a Car Safety Kit in Your Vehicle
You should always carry emergency supplies with you on road trips. Even if you have AAA or other roadside service, you may be sitting on the side of the road for hours if you run out of gas or break down. During the summer months, you should always carry one gallon of water per person, basic first aid supplies, and various foods that will withstand heat, such as nuts, peanut butter, and crackers. Other items you should have in your car safety kit include a flashlight with fresh batteries, road flares, jumper cables, rope, and a basic tool kit.
8. Check the Weather on Your Route
While you may be familiar with summer weather near your home, but it can be very different as you trek across the country. Make sure you look up the forecast for your road trip as well as your destination. This will allow you to pack appropriately and be prepared for any inclement weather.
9. Refill Your Gas Tank Often
When you set off on a road trip, you should have a full tank. Don’t let it get too low. You should never allow your tank to get below one-quarter tank when you’re in an unfamiliar area. It may be hard to find gas stations, or you might get stuck in traffic and have to idle using gas for a while.
10. Discuss Your Plans with Other People
Discuss your travel plans with friends and family prior to leaving. Make sure someone knows your approximate route and where you plan on stopping each night. Check in with those people at regular intervals. Have a plan for how they should proceed if they don’t hear from you within a certain amount of time.
What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident on a Road Trip
Whether you are in a car accident in South Carolina or outside of the state on a road trip, you should call a car accident lawyer who can help you file a claim. You will have many costs associated with your crash, including property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. You have a right to get compensation from the at-fault party. Call attorney Ryan Montgomery Law today for a free car accident case review: (864) 207-4927.