As those last school bells ring, families around the country are gearing up for their summer road trips. From cross-country drives to camping trips to family reunions to the big move, people travel more in the summer than any other time and unfortunately, this means there are more accidents on the roads. How can you keep your friends and family safe as you head out for your big road trip? How can you bring home lifelong memories instead of medical bills and car repairs?
Our lawyers have seen their fair share of accidents and we’ve learned a lot about how to be safer out there on the roads.
Here are a few tips that can help you keep your road trip fun, safe, and memorable for all the right reasons.
Tune Up. Before you hit the road it’s important that you take your car in for a quick check. You don’t want to find yourself stranded with a cracked radiator or causing an accident due to unreliable brakes. Don’t forget to check your tire tread and inflation, too!
Rotate Drivers. Whenever possible, take turns driving even when you aren’t tired. Often long hours of driving can make you more casual and less alert, which can increase your risk of an accident. Decide on an appropriate stretch of driving and regularly switch to stay fresh and safe.
Swear to Be Hands-Free. Distracted driving is so dangerous and so common, especially on long road trips where directions are needed frequently, entertainment is critical, and there are so many individuals in the same car. Have everyone agree to help the driver be hands-free with their phone and to keep distractions to a minimum for everyone’s safety.
Belt Up. It’s common for passengers on long road trips to unbuckle or modify their seatbelts for comfort as they snooze or recline in the car. In the event of an accident, wearing a seatbelt properly will literally save your life. Demand that everyone in your vehicle wears their seatbelt appropriately, even if it’s not the most comfortable.
Use Cruise Control. Cruise control can help you safely cap your speed instead of the accidental speed creep which can be deadly. Set your cruise control at or below the speed limit, but don’t let it make you casual in your driving. Pay careful attention to the drivers around you and be ready to manually brake and control your speed as needed.
Avoid Risk Times. Whenever possible, plan your meals, rest, and bathroom breaks to coincide with the riskiest times to be driving so you can avoid being on the roads. Sunrise and sunset hours can be visually challenging and lead to many accidents. Late at night is the most dangerous time to be on the road, so use caution if you must drive through the night. Finally, rush hour might mean slow speeds but it also means lots of drivers and frustration which can lead to accidents.
We wish you the best of luck for your summer adventures and give us a call if you’re in need of auto accident help on your road trip.