Summer is in full swing, and it’s prime time for road trips. But before you pack up the car and head out on a summer adventure, take a few minutes to make sure you’re ready for the trip with these 5 tips for safer summer driving.
Americans take over 1 billion trips in their cars every summer, according to the U.S. Travel Association. While piling into a car and hitting the road is fun and adventurous, it also poses some risks to drivers and passengers. According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 5,000 fatalities in car crashes involving drunk drivers in 2021, the most recent year for which data are available. And more than half of all traffic deaths over the Fourth of July holiday period involved alcohol-impaired drivers, NHTSA reports.
As a personal injury law firm, we understand that there are many potential dangers that come with summer travel. This is both for commercial and private transport. Of course, we want you to be safe and have a good time!
Our attorneys in mcallen tx want to share these 5 safe summer driving tips with you:
Before you hit the road, take a few minutes to go over your route and any potential problems. Make sure your vehicle is up to date on maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations. If your car isn’t in good shape or you’re going on a long trip, consider renting a car instead. A new car will be safer and more reliable than one not well-maintained.
Review any planning materials you may have picked up on your destination — parks, museums, restaurants and so on — to get an idea of what to expect once you get there. This will help keep everyone in the car informed about what’s going on around them, which can make for a more pleasant trip overall.
Take time to inspect your vehicle before you go.
It’s important to make sure that your car is in working order before leaving on a long trip. This includes the basics such as checking your oil and other fluids and making sure that your tires are properly inflated. You want to make sure that your tires have plenty of treads so that they can grip the road appropriately in adverse weather conditions.
Checking your tires, oil and fluids, brakes, and windshield wipers is good advice before any road trip. Make sure all lights are working properly. Be sure that nothing is blocking the headlights or tail lights as you drive down the road.
Check your tires
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 11,000 crashes a year are caused by tire blowouts. But how do you know when your tires need replacing? There are a couple of ways to check. The first is the penny test: Stick a penny into the tread of the tire, with Lincoln facing in. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to get a new tire. You can also look at your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out when the tire was manufactured — they should be replaced every six years regardless of use.
Check your fluids
If you’re not sure what kind of fluids your car needs, consult your owner’s manual or talk to a mechanic before heading out on a long drive. Three common types of fluids include power steering fluid (normally clear or red), windshield wiper fluid (blue), and engine oil (brown). Make sure all of your fluid levels are properly filled to avoid overheating and other issues while on the road.
Check your brake
You should have your brake pads replaced every 20,000 miles. If you hear a squealing or grinding noise, or if the brake pedal feels spongy when you press on it, get it checked out by a professional.
Check your wiper
Replace your wiper blades if they’re cracked, torn or leave streaks on the windshield when they’re used. Check to make sure they are flat against the windshield when they are turned off as well.
Check your lights and signals. Your headlights should be clear and bright and not yellowed or cloudy. Replace any that aren’t working and check your back-up lights as well.
Don’t Drink and Drive.
This seems obvious, but even a little alcohol can impair your driving ability significantly. Every day, 29 people die in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That equates to one person every 50 minutes.
To keep yourself and others safe, don’t drink if you’re going to be driving. And if somebody else is drinking, take their keys away and make sure they don’t get behind the wheel.
It’s not only against the law, but it can be deadly to you and others. Summertime is when many people take to the road, so there are extra drivers on the roads, which increases your chances of an accident. If you’re planning to drink alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink or use public transportation like Uber or Lyft.
Make sure everyone is buckled up.
Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. So buckle up before heading out this summer — even if you’re just taking a short trip across town. Make sure children are using age-appropriate safety seats until they are big enough for seat belts to fit correctly.
Get enough rest before you hit the road.
Get enough rest before you hit the road. Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, and can lead to serious accidents that could have been avoided. You should avoid driving during the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., when drowsiness is most likely to occur, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Get plenty of sleep the night before your trip and take breaks every two hours or 100 miles, whichever comes first.
If you’re taking prescription drugs, be sure to read all medication labels carefully before getting behind the wheel. Many prescription drugs can cause drowsiness or even make it unsafe to drive.
Summer road trips are fun, but they can also be fraught with danger. It is therefore essential to take the proper precautions when traveling this season in order to ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable experience. Keep the following tips in mind to enjoy your summer road trip to the fullest.
About the Author Atty. Moore
Since establishing Moore Law Firm, Mr. Moore has recruited some of the top legal minds in the state to represent plaintiffs for personal injury and property damage insurance claims. Over his notable legal career, Mr. Moore was named a Multi-Million Dollar Advocate, one of the Best Attorneys of America, received the second largest products liability verdict in Texas, and currently Lead Liaison Counsel In Re: Fraudulent Hospital Lien Litigation, MDL-15-0360. Moore Law Firm seeks to practice law and represent clients aggressively as Mr. Moore has established himself as a distinguished litigator in South Texas.