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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Summer Road Trip Safety Tips


Is your family planning to venture out on a road trip this summer? If so, you’ll be making plans about where you’ll go and what you’ll do, but you shouldn’t forget to make plans to stay safe on your trip. Accidents and injuries can easily ruin your trip, but many of these accidents can be avoided. Here are a few easy tips to keep your road trip safe and accident-free.

Prepare Your Car for the Trip

Your car is a key player in a safe road trip, so it’s important to ensure that it gets the needed care before you set out. Schedule appointments for any required maintenance before you go to keep your car running smoothly. You can also give your car an inspection, or request that your service technician performs the inspection, for any potential issues.

During your inspection, check your car’s:

  • Tires for cracks in the side walls or worn tread.
  • Windshield wipers for wear.
  • Fluids, and top off as needed.
  • Brakes, or have a service shop check them for wear.
  • Batteries for corrosion and charge. Clean or replace the battery if needed.

Packing Your Car

When your car is ready to go, it’s time to pack up. When loading your car, you should take into account its safe cargo weight capacity and the distribution of the weight. Don’t forget that the weight limit includes fuel and passengers, so don’t pack too heavily. If you are using roof racks or roof-mounted cargo boxes, never use them to transport heavy items. Placing too much weight on your car’s roof can make it difficult to handle and can make it more prone to roll overs.

You should also consider your comfort and emergencies when packing your car. During the trip, you will want to have easy access to snacks, GPS devices and maps, blankets, coats, entertainment, and drinks. When packing, remember to place these items in easy to reach places. Similarly, in the event of a breakdown or a flat tire, you will want to ensure that your emergency supplies are easy to access. Unloading your entire car in the dark to find a flashlight isn’t likely to be a cherished memory, so plan ahead. Be sure that you are also carrying the supplies you need to address an emergency, such as:

  • The correct size spare tire
  • Jack
  • The right tire iron
  • A bright flashlight
  • A reflective vest
  • Road flares or reflective triangles
  • Jumper cables
  • Cold weather or rain gear
  • First-aid kit

Many of these items can be found in roadside emergency kits available in many auto departments or online. One of these kits may be an easy way to ensure you have what you need in your car to prevent car troubles from ruining your trip.

Traveling with Kids

If your family includes children, you will need to be sure to prepare for them as well. During the trip, you can help keep your kids comfortable and occupied with plenty of their favorite snacks, drinks, toys, games, movies, and music. Plan to bring what you need to accommodate your kids, including extra clothes, coats, chargers, or other items to make your trip go smoothly.

On the Road

Once you’re on your trip, you can also stay safe by observing safe driving habits. Insist that you and your passengers wear their seatbelts at all times. Reduce distractions by allowing your passengers to handle snacks, navigation, or other tasks that would take your attention off the road. Stop for gas when needed, and don’t forget to take breaks to stretch your legs. Regular stops can reduce drowsiness and strain from sitting in the car and keep you in shape to drive safely. If you do begin to feel sleepy, switch out with another driver, or find a place to stop for the night.

Allow extra time to navigate unfamiliar roads on your trip. Even if you’ve been on that trip before, there may have been changes to the road, or conditions may be different than before. If the weather is poor, traffic is thick, or it’s getting dark, slow down to allow yourself more time to react. Always pass carefully, and never pass when you can’t see what is coming for a long distance. Follow the rules of the road, and be prepared for other drivers to not be as careful. Brush up on defensive driving skills to prevent car accidents.

We hope that your summer trip is safe, but if you are injured in an accident, you may be able to claim compensation. Other people’s negligent actions can cause you or a loved one serious injuries, and can leave you with expensive medical costs. Our Albuquerque personal injury attorney, Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law, is dedicated to providing one-on-one service for each of our clients. Contact our office today to request a free case evaluation.