Road trips are a classic family vacation; the adventure and freedom of the open road is a huge allure. Nothing, however, can put a damper on a great road trip faster than a car accident. To stay safe, it is important to be prepared and follow some basic safety tips. Planning is a key component to a safe and fun road trip; this includes planning your route carefully, allowing enough time to get there, and ensuring that your car is in good running condition. Driver fatigue is a common problem on long road trips; reasonable rest stops should be built into the road trip plan to avoid putting yourself and others on the road at risk for an accident.
- Before you leave on your trip, have your car serviced and given a full safety check up including:
- Tires and tire pressure (including your spare)
- Fluid levels
- Cooling systems (and fluid levels)
- Belts and hoses
- Pack jumper cables and tire changing equipment
- Map out your trip in advance to make sure you are comfortable with the route
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destination (include planned rest stops at least every two hours or 100 miles). Do not drive for more than eight hours per day to help limit fatigue and to stave off “road hypnosis”
- Pull over for a power nap if you feel tired
- Share the driving with another responsible driver if possible
- Never drink alcohol or take any drugs that could alter your mental state before or during a road trip
- Try to get a solid night’s sleep the night before you leave
- Avoid long stretches of driving in the middle of the night (or whenever you would normally be sleeping)
- Drive within the speed limit and drive appropriately for the weather conditions, terrain, time of day/night, and level of traffic
- Make sure all passengers wear appropriate seatbelts or child restraints, including pets
- Store all luggage securely so in case of sudden braking it won’t go flying off the roof of the car or hit a passenger in the head
- Avoid driving distractions such as heated conversations and mobile phone use. Have a passenger adjust the radio, do not stare at a map or GPS, and keep your eyes on the road. Distracted drivers are the leading cause of car accidents.
- Always drive defensively; it will help you be aware of hazards and obstacles on the road, as well as others that may be driving recklessly.
- Pack a camera just in case you have an accident so the damage can be documented for your insurance company
These road trip safety tips can help you have an accident free trip. Even if the unexpected happens such as a stalled car or a popped tire, you will be ready to get back on the road in no time.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!