Who doesn’t love a good, ol’ fashioned family road trip in the summer? There are few things more memorable than packing up the car to explore the country with your family. Of course, rarely does everything go right on a road trip — the bathroom breaks every 10 minutes for that one person, missing your exit, siblings fighting in the back seat — but that’s all a part of the experience. However, an auto accident can turn a fun family summer vacation into a disaster. Here are some tips for safe summer driving so your family can have a wonderful, accident- and injury-free road trip.
Get the car checked
You don’t want to break down on the side of the road, or worse, have your car fail and cause an accident. Especially if you are planning a long road trip or if your car is on the older side, take your car into your local mechanic for a full checkup including tires, A/C, radiator, oil levels, belts, lights, and windshield wipers. This will drastically reduce the likelihood of an accident or breakdown.
Monitor severe weather patterns
With summer comes a lot of severe storms in many parts of the country. Be sure to check the weather in all the places you intend to visit, and be prepared for the worst. If you find yourself in the path of a tropical storm, tornado, or hurricane, don’t try to brave the storm. Either stay put and find safety until it passes, or drive somewhere else outside the storm path well before it gets to you.
Stop or switch drivers if you are tired
Driving cross-country, especially in unfamiliar areas, takes a lot of focus. Many accidents occur on long-distance road trips because of driver exhaustion. To avoid this, take breaks whenever you need to and fuel up with some snacks and caffeinated beverages. Or, if there’s another licensed driver in the car, have them take over after a few hours. In any case, don’t push yourself if you are too drowsy or exhausted.
Minimize driver distractions
On family road trips, there can be a lot of distractions: kids crying in the back seat, eating in the car, movies playing loudly through the stereo. As a driver, you must try to ignore these and other distractions as much as possible. Put away your phone, don’t attempt to eat and drive, and keep your eyes on the road.
Better to bring something and not need it than to leave it and miss it later. Here are some essential things you’ll want to make sure to bring along: sunglasses to block out the bright sun, an umbrella for rainy days, a phone charger to keep your phone and GPS app running, windshield covers to keep the car cool on hot days, and an emergency kit just in case.
Missouri Auto Accident Attorney
The thing about car accidents is that they can happen no matter how safe you drive, how good a condition your car is in, or how prepared you are. All it takes is a negligent or distracted driver on the road near you. If someone in your vehicle is injured on a summer road trip during an accident, know that you are legally entitled to compensation from the guilty driver responsible. The experienced auto accident attorneys at Lanzotti & Rau would be honored to represent your case. To learn more about our firm and how we handle cases, give us a call to schedule a free consultation at 573-335-9300.