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Safe Vacation Driving Tips

vacation driving safety - Smith & McGhee

Summer vacation and road trip season is upon us. If you’re planning a day trip or something longer with family, you should understand the dangers you may face.

The Department of Transportation reports that summer, not winter as many believe, is the most dangerous driving season. There are more fatal accidents from the summer months of June through August compared to the winter equivalent of December through February. Some of the factors that contribute to these dangers include having more vehicles on the road and more seasonal roadwork taking place.

Before you set out on your next journey, take some time to read over these driving and safety tips. They can help reduce the chances of a dangerous accident. Should you be hurt through no fault of your own, you have the right to seek compensation from the responsible party.

Vehicle Maintenance. Now is the time to make sure your vehicle has everything it needs for a summer road trip. Are you up to date on regular maintenance such as oil changes, brake inspections, and new tires?

A mechanic can inspect your vehicle and let you know if there are any glaring issues. They can also top off your fluids and make sure your A/C is going to work well for the duration of your trip.

Stock Up. When you are prepared, you’ll be able to handle almost any type of roadside emergency that comes your way. Stock up your vehicle with some essentials that include a spare tire, road flares, an emergency kit, walkie-talkie or rechargeable radio, flashlight, and a compass and map.

Depending on where you are traveling, you may also wish to assemble and pack a survival kit. This would include several days’ worth of food and water. You might also need some all-weather gear and blankets for warmth.

Map It Out. Accidents can happen when drivers are in unfamiliar territory and become easily distracted. You may take your eyes off the road to look at a map, your car’s GPS, or your smartphone.

In the ideal scenario, you should plan and map out your route ahead of time and then ask someone else in the vehicle to oversee navigation. If you are driving alone, opt for hands-free solutions and check in with someone each night when you stop at a designated time to ensure your safety.

Watch Out for Traffic. When traveling on more congested roadways, look up traffic and roadway construction projects before you set out for a day’s worth of driving. This can help you better prepare your time and route.

Slow down and follow all posted speed limits. It’s also wise to only drive fast enough for conditions, so pay attention to heavy traffic and summer storms that can create more dangerous situations. Whether or not you are in familiar territory, share the road with others. This includes paying attention to the increased numbers of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles on the road in the summertime.

Never Drive While Impaired. Some people enjoy a cocktail while on vacation, but it’s never a good idea to drink alcohol when you are planning to drive. Not only is driving while intoxicated illegal, but it can also lead to a dangerous and deadly car accident that will ruin your trip and alter your life.

Choose Safety Driving Habits. Every time you step into a vehicle, you should put on a seat belt. These devices are proven to save lives. When it comes to children, any eligible child by age or weight should ride in an approved and properly installed car seat or booster seat. Also, children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat. And never leave a child unattended in a hot vehicle.

Vacation Accident in Alabama? Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

You may follow all of these steps for preparation, but you can’t control the actions of other drivers. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, the Alabama personal injury attorneys at Smith & McGhee, PC, will fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Dothan office at 334-702-1744 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation.