Road trips offer an array of wonderful opportunities, including exploring new destinations, creating lasting memories, and connecting with loved ones. While a road trip may sound like a great way to experience new places, it is important to keep in mind that a road trip may still have its dangers. Although you may be a safe and cautious driver, others on the road may not be. There are over 40,000 deaths caused by car accidents every year. Knowing this, it is crucial to prioritize safety and to be prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise during your journey.
A road trip can often be a test of your endurance, testing both you as the driver, as well as the car in which you are traveling. It is important to make sure that you have prepared for your trip beforehand. Here are the steps that you should take to enjoy a safe and fun journey.
Before you Leave
Plan your route:
Before you embark on your journey, it is vital to plan your route carefully. A GPS navigation system or a mobile app can help safely guide you throughout your trip. These navigation systems can often take into account construction zones, traffic advisories, or weather conditions that may affect your route. When you plan your route beforehand it will help you minimize unexpected delays and reduce the likelihood of a car accident.
Conduct Vehicle Maintenance
Maintaining your vehicle is also crucial for a safe and a hassle-free road trip. Make sure that you schedule a comprehensive inspection with a qualified mechanic to ensure that your car is in optimal operating condition. Before you leave you should check your tire pressure, fluid levels, brakes, headlights, and windshield wipers. Additionally, if you pack an emergency kit you will be able to better prepare yourself for unknown conditions that may occur on your trip. Check to make sure that you include a spare tire, jumper cables, a flashlight, and basic tools as well. Carry water, an emergency blanket, and other essentials such as contact solution and case if you wear contacts, toilet paper, or similar items that you may need during your trip, particularly if you break down in an area that is not well traveled. If you maintain proper vehicle maintenance the likelihood of your car breaking down or getting into an accident on the road significantly decreases.
Get Sufficient Rest:
Fatigue is a leading cause of car accidents during a long drive. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that over 100,000 accidents are caused by drowsy driving, resulting in nearly 800 fatalities and about 50,000 injuries. Getting proper rest is the key to making sure that your journey is safe. To stay alert try taking regular breaks, and stretching your legs this will help keep you rejuvenated and ready for the road. If it is possible, try to share your driving responsibilities with a travel companion in order to avoid exhaustion. Always remember: a well-rested driver is a safe driver.
On the Road
Buckle Up and Secure Passengers:
Wearing seat belts is the most simple and effective way to protect yourself and your passengers in the event of an accident. According to the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration, by simply buckling up you reduce your chances of fatal injury in a car accident by over 50%. Ensure that everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled up before setting off. If you have young children, make sure that they are safely secured in an appropriate car seat or booster seat for their age. By prioritizing the usage of seat belts, you reduce the risk of serious injuries in the event of an accident.
Distracted driving poses a significant risk on the road. The NHTSA estimates that distracted driving claims 3,500 lives a year. It is crucial to minimize any distractions while you are driving. Avoid using mobile devices while driving as it diverts attention from the road. In fact, sending just one text can take your eyes off the road for more than five seconds. Reading text messages can also be distracting and lead to serious accidents. Instead of handling these distractions yourself, it can be exceptionally helpful to designate a passenger to handle navigation, or if possible, use voice activated features if available in your vehicle. Maintain and keep your focus on the road and surroundings at all times. Remember the slogan, “Arrive alive, don’t text and drive!” Don’t let a text message while driving become your last.
Following Traffic Laws:
Obeying traffic laws may sound like an obvious step to take, however it is often forgotten while driving. Traffic laws are created for your safety as well as the safety of others. Try to adhere to the speed limits, as well as traffic signals and road signs as much as possible. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating and excessive lane changing. Simply being a responsible driver can significantly reduce the chances of you being involved in a car accident.
As you plan on your next road trip adventure, keep these safety tips in mind to ensure a smooth and secure journey. Before you leave make sure that you have prepared, taken care of any vehicle maintenance, and that you are responsible with your driving. These factors will help you prevent any accidents and protect yourself and your loved ones. In the chance that you have been in a car accident, it is essential to seek legal representation from the best car accident lawyers in Salt Lake City. We here at LifeLaw Personal Injury can provide you with the needed guidance and expertise to help you navigate the complexities of a personal injury claim.
Remember, your safety is top priority!