Road trips can be fun and exhausting, but the memories they create make them well worth it. If a road trip is part of your Labor Day plans, here are five important safety measures to put in place before your trip to make it enjoyable—and accident-free.
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
Vehicle malfunction has caused many a car accident. If your brakes fail, you cannot safely stop your vehicle and you may crash. Car batteries that fail at the worst time, like when you are in the middle of heavy traffic—can put you, your passengers and other motorists in danger. Have your brakes, battery, belts, fluids and tires checked by a qualified mechanic before your road trip. Also check your vehicle’s air conditioning to make sure it works, especially if you anticipate hot and humid temperatures.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Always be prepared for the unexpected. The National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) recommends packing an emergency kit that includes the following:
- Emergency contact card
- Extra prescription medications
- First-aid kit
- Fully-charged cell phone
- High-protein snacks
- Important documents and information you might need
- Jumper cables
- Small battery-operated radio
- Tools for changing a tire
- Warm blankets
Stay Alert and Well Rested
Fatigue and sleep-deprivation has been a factor in many car accidents. Get plenty of sleep and rest before and during your road trip. If traveling alone, take frequent rest stops to replenish your energy before continuing on your journey. If traveling with others, switch up drivers. If you plan to consume alcohol, have someone else do the driving.
Be mindful of speed limits and follow all rules of the road. Avoid tailgating; if the driver ahead of you has to suddenly stop, you may crash into him and cause a car accident. Do not text while driving and do not use a cell phone without a hands-free device. Pull over to the side of the road if your conversation—either on your cell or in the car among the passengers—gets distracting. Many car accidents were caused by drivers who paid more attention to their cell phone conversations than the road.
Child-Proof Your Vehicle
The AAA recommends having your child’s booster or car seat inspected to make sure it is correctly installed in your vehicle. To find out the location of places that offer free safety seat inspections, call 866-SEAT-CHECK. Also make sure your vehicle’s child safety locks are activated on doors and windows, particularly in the back seats. Check for loose change or knobs that could come off (presenting a potential choking hazard), and batten down or any other objects (e.g., strollers, suitcases, etc.) that can become projectiles and potentially hit a child should you have to make a sudden stop or crash.
Practice Safety Due Diligence
Let family and friends know where you are going and when you expect to arrive at your destination. Check the weather forecast for any anticipated inclement weather so that you can change your travel route or reschedule your trip for a time when the weather will be better. Likewise check for natural disasters that could occur in the region where you are going, and find out how to obtain information in the event such a disaster occurred.
How a Tampa Accident Lawyer Can Help
A car accident can happen despite your most diligent efforts to prevent it. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Tampa, an accident lawyer at the Disparti Law Group will work on your behalf to see that responsible parties are held accountable, and that you are compensated for your pain and suffering.