The summer season is a busy time for travel. If you are one of the many drivers who will be taking a road trip over the summer months, it is important you and your vehicle are ready to hit the road. An experienced car accident lawyer knows there are many factors increasing the risk of car collisions during the summer, including heat contributing to tire blowouts and a higher risk of car accidents because of more drivers on the road. Despite the dangers, if you follow safety precautions and exercise reasonable care on the road, hopefully you will be able to enjoy your summer trip without incident.
Tips for a Safe Summer Road Trip
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided some basic advice to motorists who will be heading out on the road over the summer. NHTSA suggests
- Using appropriate protective equipment. For adults, this means a shoulder and lap belt. This kind of seat belt restraint reduces the risk of deadly injuries by 45 percent and the risk of injuries classified as serious or critical by 50 percent. For children age four and under, being buckled in a car seat is the safest place to be. For children 13 and under, the back seat is the appropriate spot in the car to sit to avoid injuries caused by air bags. Using a car seat for a child under age one reduces the car accident death rate by 71 percent. When a child under four is in a car seat, the death rate drops by 54 percent.
- Sobriety at all times when operating a vehicle. Drunk drivers cause a fatality every 52 minutes. You should not be one of the people contributing to the high rate of drunk driving deaths. Have a designated driver before you go out and start drinking.
- Vehicle maintenance. You should always follow manufacturer instructions for getting maintenance work performed on your car. If you are going on a road trip and don't know if the car you are taking has been regularly maintained, get it checked by a professional before you leave. The car should have the battery checked, have a tune-up and have the tires rotated if necessary. Be sure tires are inflated enough, as hot weather can increase the risk of tire blowouts.
- Staying focused on the road when behind the wheel. Ten percent of collisions in the U.S. that result in fatalities are distracted driving accidents. Distracted drivers also cause 18 percent of collisions leading to personal injury.
- Observing move-over laws. These laws require you to change your lane or to slow down if you are approaching an area on the road where there is a law enforcement officer or emergency worker on the road shoulder.
By following these guidelines, hopefully you and your loved ones can have a wonderful vacation and a fun summer season without any problems on the road. It is every driver's responsibility to help make the summer safe by following best practice for avoiding motor vehicle accidents.