Almost half of all Americans travel for vacation during the summer months. Over 90 percent of those trips are in a personal vehicle. All of that time on the road can ultimately lead to more car accidents. Proper preparation for the road trip and a few driving tips can be extremely helpful if you are considering a summertime road trip yourself.
Before You Go: Safety Checklist
You can prevent a surprising number of accidents by simply taking a few extra minutes to ensure that your vehicle is road trip ready. You should be sure that you have performed all of your regular maintenance before you go, including oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations.
Use the penny test to be sure that your tires do not need replaced. Place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside-down. If you can see the top of his head, you need new tires. If you find uneven wear, then you may need to rotate your tires as well.
You may also want to head to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to see if your vehicle is subject to any recalls. If there is an accident because of a recall, that could actually affect your legal liability. A Chicago car accident lawyer can help you determine if this situation affects your case.
Before you hit the road, you should also perform a very basic safety checklist to be sure that your car is in great working order.
- Check your tire pressure. The right tire pressure for your car should be on the inside door of your vehicle—do not use the number on the tire!
- Inspect your belts and hoses. Check your belts and hoses for cracks, blisters, bulges, and cuts. Summer temperatures sometimes increase the deterioration process, so it is especially important to check these during the summer months.
- Check your wiper blades. Look for signs of wear and tear and replace your windshield wipers if necessary. You want to be able to see if an unexpected summer storm hits!
- Test your lights. Be sure that your headlights, brake lights, and headlights are all functioning properly. Test your turn signals and flashers as well.
- Double check your fluid levels. Check the oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid before you hit the road. You should be sure to check your coolant levels as well.
You may also want to get your air conditioning tested before you go on a hot summer road trip as well.
On the Road Safety Tips
While you are driving, you need to mindful of potential summer safety threats. These could include:
- An increase in the amount of pedestrians (particularly children)
- More motorcycles on the road
- An increase in the number of impaired drivers
- Heavy rain events
Be sure that you have your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on your driving at all times on your summer road trip—your friends’ and family’s safety deserves your utmost attention!
Unfortunately, sometimes accidents just cannot be avoided. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Disparti Law Group, P.A. at (312) 464-7073.