As the cold melts away, many people across the nation are planning their summer bucket list. The season is the perfect time to take a break and enjoy a vacation, and many choose to partake on a road trip. However, a summer road trip can be fraught with dangers if you don’t take the proper precautions. From traffic accidents to extreme weather conditions, there are many factors that can make your summer road trip unsafe. Make sure you are prepared for these unpredictable events.
Check Your Vehicle
Before you hit the road, make sure you have all the necessary documents such as your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. Take your car to a mechanic for a tune-up. If there are any problems with your car, have them fixed before you go. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the following vehicle checks:
- Cooling system
- Fluid level
- Wiper Blades
- Floor Matts
Plan Your Route
Planning your route ahead of time can help you avoid dangerous or congested roads. Use a GPS or mapping software to find the best routes for your trip. Consider alternate routes and have a plan B in case you need to take a detour. Make sure you have a paper map as a backup in case you lose your GPS signal.
Pack An Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is essential for any road trip. It should include a first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, blankets, and a cell phone charger. Make sure you have a spare tire, a tire jack, and jumper cables in case you need to change a tire or jump-start your car.
Keep Your Eyes On The Road
Driving long distances can be tiring and cause you to lose focus. Take regular breaks to rest and stretch your legs. Avoid distractions such as texting, eating, or using your phone while driving. If you need to use your phone, use a hands-free device or pull over to a safe location.
Follow Traffic Rules and Signs
Traffic rules and signs exist for a reason, and it’s not a bad idea to review road rules before a long trip. Follow the speed limit, yield to pedestrians, and obey all traffic signs. Stay in your lane and avoid tailgating other vehicles. Never drink and drive. Lastly, ensure you buckle up!
Prepare For The Unexpected
Of course no one plans to be in a car accident, but it’s important to know how to handle one. The steps you take after an accident can alter the entire outcome. First, make sure you report the accident. Police and medical reports will be used as evidence. It is also crucial that you do not admit guilty to anything prior to speaking to a lawyer. Consulting with an experienced attorney will help you file an insurance claim as well as discuss your potential compensation.
Stay Alert For Extreme Weather
Summer weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for extreme weather conditions. Check the weather forecast before you leave and pack appropriate clothing and gear. If you encounter severe weather such as thunderstorms, high winds, or tornadoes, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.
Keep Your Car Cool
Driving in a hot car can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Use the air conditioning or open windows to keep your car cool. Make sure everyone in the car stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid leaving children or pets in a hot car for any length of time.
Take Breaks And Enjoy The Journey
A road trip is not just about getting to your destination, it’s about the journey. Take breaks to explore new places, try local diner, or pull over and take in the scenery. Take turns driving so everyone gets a chance to rest and enjoy the trip.
Enjoy your trip and stay safe on the roads!