Safe Road Trips this Summer1Oct
Summer is officially here, and for millions of Americans, it’s time to take the family on a road trip! To improve the family’s chances for a wonderful, trouble-free journey, it’s important to make crucial preparations before hitting the road.
How to Travel Safely
Proper preparation makes a big difference when planning a road trip. Road trips involve driving hundreds of miles outside one’s home state, in regions of the U.S. where everyone is a stranger and every town’s facilities and resources are unknown. For example, a flat tire or a small fender bender may be a momentary hiccup in one’s home city where one knows the local repair shops and has friends to call for a ride. But a flat tire or fender bender in an unknown region in a different part of the country may present serious challenges.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a few recommendations that Americans should implement in their preparations for a summer road trip.
- Optimizing the vehicle’s A/C performance
- Checking belts and hoses for signs of wear
- Making sure the vehicle has no recalls issued for it
- Ensuring the tires have plenty of tread and are properly inflated
- Checking under-the-hood fluid levels and topping off as necessary
- Making sure all passengers in the vehicle will be secured by working seat belts
- Double-checking the car battery, headlights, turn signals, hazard lights, and wiper blades
The NHTSA also recommends stocking the vehicle with emergency items like a cell phone and charger, a first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, car jack, basic repair tools, water, nonperishable food, maps, emergency blankets, towels, and coats. In addition to a closely inspected and stocked vehicle, a well-laid plan for a road trip is also important. One should have the route programmed into GPS before departure, and they should pay attention to weather patterns predicted for the duration of the journey. It’s also important to notify other family members and emergency contacts of the trip itinerary.
Rental Cars and Insurance
For those who rent a car for a road trip, it’s always advised to choose full insurance coverage. This way, the drivers, passengers, and the vehicle will be fully covered in the event of an accident.
Personal Injury Tips When Traveling Out of State
Any personal injury is challenging, complicated, and stressful. But injuries sustained out of state are exacerbated by the lack of familiarity with the region, e.g., lack of access to primary care providers and essential points of contact one would have back home. When a personal injury occurs while traveling out of state, do the following:
- Call 911.
- In the case of a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, collect the other driver’s insurance information.
- Follow the instructions of emergency responders when they arrive on-scene.
- Seek immediate medical attention and save all medical documentation.
- Contact a personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a wrongful injury, please call Magazine Law Group at 727-499-9900.
 NHTSA. “Summer Driving Tips.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2022. nhtsa.gov