Summer is the time to hit the road. Throughout North Carolina and nationwide, families will be piling into cars, SUVs, mini-vans, and campers to visit state parks, beaches, and loved ones. Before tackling your summer road trip, remember that safety is critical to keeping yourself, your loved ones and other motorists out of harm’s way. The National Highway Safety Agency is encouraging all motorists to be prepared and to plan ahead for summer road trips.
Summer is the busiest driving season of the year. More traffic on the road and an increased number of commercial trucks can create additional dangers for motorists. Preparing for traffic, ensuring that your vehicle is maintained, and taking other precautions can improve safety for your passengers and other motorists on the road. Our North Carolina car accident attorneys are dedicated to promoting travel safety throughout the state and nationwide.
Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe on the road this summer:
Vehicle maintenance. While missing an oil-change or tune-up may seem minor, vehicle maintenance is critical to ensuring safety for your passengers. You should also check your battery, have your tires rotated and make sure that you have regular vehicle service in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommendations. A checklist should include tires, seatbelts, windshield wiper blades, your cooling system, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning.
Prepare an emergency kit. When making long road trips, you never know when your vehicle may breakdown. An emergency roadside kit could help you, especially if you are far from a gas station or in the dark. An emergency road kit may include a spare cell phone, first-aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, extra water, food, and medication.
Avoid high-risk driving behaviors. Always avoid risky behaviors, including drinking and driving, texting while driving, and other distractions. Distracted driving may involve eating or drinking, talking with passengers, changing music, or driving with pets. If you are making a long road trip, be sure that you are well rested. Pull over if you feel yourself getting drowsy and don’t take on unreasonable durations or stretches of highway, especially at night.
Wear seatbelts. You should always make sure that you and your children or other passengers are wearing their seatbelts, even when the road trip gets to be long. Regular seatbelt wearing is the best defense to prevent serious injury or death in the event of an accident. Children should also be in the right seat. This means that young children should remain in car seats and children 13 and younger should be in the back seat.
Share the road. Remember that safety extends to others sharing the road. Be aware of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, especially as many of these drivers and riders will be more vulnerable. You should also be aware of semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles traveling at high speeds and the potential risk that they pose, whether you are in a small car or SUV.
Taking safety precautions are important to having a smooth trip. Unfortunately, some accidents will occur despite your care and preparations. If you or someone you love were involved in an accident on a summer road trip, you may be entitled to compensation. A North Carolina advocate can investigate your case, identify responsible parties.