Whether you’re heading out for a weekend away or taking a long vacation to explore the country, summer time is a popular season for people to climb in the car and head out on a road trip. While you might have a lot of fun waiting for you at your destination, it’s important that you take some extra precautions before heading out. Safety should always be your number one concern when driving long distances, so here are a few things you can do to avoid a potentially dangerous accident and serious injuries while traveling this summer.
Prepare Your Car
Before you head out on a long road trip, you need to make sure your car is ready to handle the long journey. Check your car for any important safety recalls and get your car serviced within seven days of your departure, including having your oil changed, tires rotated and filled to proper pressures, air filter changed, coolant and other fluid levels checked, and more. Making sure your car’s maintenance is up to par and ready for the long journey ahead is an important step that many people wrongfully overlook before taking off.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Statistically, the longer you’re on the road, the more likely it is you’ll be involved in an accident. That means you should always make sure you wear your seatbelt at all times, and buckle up every time you get in the car. If you’re traveling with kids, you should make sure all passengers under 13 ride in the back seat, all necessary booster seats are properly installed, and that all restraints fit properly. Finally, never leave your children unattended with your vehicle.
Don’t Drive Tired
Driving while fatigued has been shown to have similar effects to driving while intoxicated, and in some cases even more harmful ones. If you plan on driving for hours at a time, make sure you periodically stop to rest, stretch, get some fresh air, and even possibly change passengers to avoid losing focus or falling asleep at the wheel.
Stay Off the Phone
It can be easy to get bored while the miles of road between you and your destination tick by. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, it’s easy to become distracted, either by getting lost in your own thoughts,
playing with the radio, munching on snacks, talking to passengers, or even picking up your phone to check if you have any new messages. These are all things which have been shown to increase your chances of a serious injury, so avoid them at all costs.
If you are injured as a result of a drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent driver while on a road trip this summer, call the Otsego County auto accident attorneys at Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC today at (607) 228-8404 for a case evaluation!