The summer is the perfect time of year to grab the kids and hit the road. Road trips are a lot of fun and give the family time to explore various destinations all in one vacation. While most of us think about what to pack, what route to take, how to save on gas and tolls, and how to keep the kids from killing each other in the backseat, there is often one thing we don’t think of: how to prevent an accident.
There’s always a possibility of getting into an accident while behind the wheel. However, when you’re traveling for long distances in unfamiliar territory, those chances become a lot higher. It is important to take precautions by ensuring that you have up to date car insurance and contact information for a personal injury firm such as Bachus & Schanker LLC. There are some additional measure you can take to minimize the potential of getting hurt on the road.
1. Get Your Car Serviced
Before you hit the road, make sure that you’ve had your car checked out by a certified mechanic. You’ll want to tell them that you’re heading on a long distance trip so that they can service or repair part like belts, brake pads, and fluid, cooling and heating systems, hoses, oil and filters, headlights and taillights, as well as rotate and check the tire pressure. It is a good measure to have the car serviced a few weeks before the actual trip just in case there are repairs that will require more time to service.
2. Know Your Route
Whether you’re going to use road maps or plug in your car’s GPS system you should still know which route you intend to take prior to getting on the road. This way you can program the information into the GPS system, ensure that you have the right map, and even research the best times of day to travel to avoid traffic. It also helps to know which roads might be under construction so that you can avoid them.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
Being tired behind the wheel is a surefire way to end up in an accident. To prevent this from happening, be sure to get a good night’s rest before driving. If you plan on driving in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll want to go to bed early the night before so you get the recommended eight hours.
4. Make Sure Luggage is Secure
You don’t want to hop on the highway only to see your luggage flying off your car in the rearview mirror. This can cause serious accidents along the way. Make sure that you have secured your luggage properly with a luggage rack and bungee cords.
5. Switch Drivers
Sitting in the driver seat for long periods of time and staring at the road for hours can cause you to get drowsy. Every now and then, you’ll need to pull over and let another licensed driver take over. If you’re going to drive by yourself, make sure that you pull over at rest stops or popular attractions to stretch your eyes and legs for a while.
6. Follow the Rules of the Road
Excessive speeding, improper lane changes, and aggressive driving can lead to accidents and put you and your family at risk. No matter how anxious you are to get to your final destination, it is important to follow the rules of the road. Drive the speed limit so that you can be aware of your surroundings and respond quickly if necessary. Also, if you find that you’ve missed the exit, go to the next one and don’t try to cut everyone off to get there.
7. Make Sure the Kids Are Entertained and Strapped In
Believe it or not, your kids can be the biggest distraction when you’re on a road trip. The crying, screaming, and sibling bickering can cause you to take your eyes off the road. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, it is important to have things to entertain the kids along the way. Mobile devices are great for this as you can download movies or games to keep them occupied for a few hours. Also, make sure they’re strapped in so they’re not wiggling around.
These tips are ideal for keeping you and your family safe as you travel on your road trip. As you’re packing and preparing for your vacation, make sure you keep these things in mind. Be that as it may, if someone else’s reckless driving should cause an accident, having adequate insurance, and a personal injury attorney in mind to contact is the best way to ensure that you’re covered for the aftermath.