School’s out, and summer’s here. As exciting as that can be, summer puts more cars on the road than usual. With the added traffic congestion, travelers driving in unfamiliar areas, and construction booming, the risk of car crashes significantly increases.
July and August are the most dangerous months for vehicle travel, according to the National Safety Council. Unfortunately, we at Mickey Keenan Attorneys at Law see the painful effects of the accidents during the summer. So, before you take off on your family road trip this summer, check out our safety tips to prevent a tragedy.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” From safety recalls to tires, getting your vehicle looked at by a professional is key before your road trip.
It’s crucial to take your vehicle in for a multi-point inspection to assess any issues that may cause your car to break down or perform improperly. A maintenance check and any needed repairs will help prevent your car from making sudden, unintentional moves that may cause you to have to pull over in a dangerous, high-traffic area.
When making your packing list and checking it twice, don’t forget to put your vehicle on there. Ensure your oil, engine, brake, and windshield wiper fluid levels are good. Double check that you have a fully inflated spare tire, a fully charged battery, and that your tires are not worn or underinflated.
If you have kids under 12, make sure you follow the best safety guidelines for car seat installation, projectiles, etc.
Avoiding time with heavy traffic is the easiest solution for a less hectic ride. Driving during the morning, lunchtime, and evening rush hours, are much more crowded and dangerous times to drive.
Of course, that is not the only rush you should avoid. Take your time driving and allow more time than you think you will need for unexpected stops or traffic. This will ensure that you drive at a safe speed and make safer decisions on the road.
As a general rule, you should keep your drive to no more than eight hours a day and take a break for at least 15 minutes every two hours. When traveling long distance, this means you should only travel about 500 miles per day in order to stay alert and safe.
Driving in the rain (or on ice – not something we encounter much on the roads in Florida) will lower your control of a vehicle as well as increase the distance to come to a complete stop. If you start hydroplaning, when your tires lose contact with the road, slamming on the brakes will lead to skidding and a potential crash. Use light pressure on the brakes while gently steering the car in the direction you want to go.
Just like you should never get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, you should never drive drowsy or fatigued. You should also avoid driving at night if possible.
Even if you’re well-rested, nighttime driving increases the risk of an accident due to decreased visibility as well as an increase of other drivers that might be drowsy or otherwise impaired. The NHTSA offers these tips for night driving:
Car accidents are already a large risk, and the influx of summertime traffic doesn’t help. Hopefully, you will implement these safety tips into your driving habits, making a safer road for yourself and others.
If you’ve suffered an accident, whether on the road or not, contact the law office of Mickey Keenan. Our team specializes in personal injury and auto accidents, and we genuinely care about you. You deserve representation with the knowledge, experience, and compassion that will fight for fair compensation.