Summer road trips can be the best of times — and the worst of times. Too much sun, too much traffic, and too little planning can transform a relaxing summer outing into a stressful ordeal, marred by vehicle breakdowns or worse. Fortunately, it’s possible to prepare for and prevent some of the more common trip glitches.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a consumer advisory listing several steps drivers should take to make their summer trips safer. Here are some of the agency’s top tips:
Get your car serviced. Regular maintenance is not a suggestion, it’s essential to keeping your vehicle roadworthy. If you’ve kept up with the manufacturer’s recommendations for tune-ups, oil changes, battery check, tire rotations, and the rest, then you’re probably good to go. But if you don’t know the service history of the vehicle, you may want to schedule a preventive maintenance checkup with a reliable mechanic before hitting the road.
Got tire pressure? Tires inflated at the right pressure are less likely to cause problems. The NHTSA points out that the correct pressure isn’t the number listed on your tire; it’s what the owner’s’ manual calls for. Be sure to check tires when “cold,” meaning the car hasn’t been driven for at least three hours.
Avoid risky driving. Anything that takes your attention off the road, whether it’s distractions inside the vehicle or getting behind the wheel after drinking, greatly increases your chances of an accident. Having everyone properly buckled in, children in the correct car seat, will make the time on the road more enjoyable for everyone.
Keep cool. Bringing lots of water and cold drinks is a great idea. Leaving children or pets unattended in a parked car, even with the engine running, is almost always a bad idea. Vehicles heat up quickly. If the outside temperature is in the low 80s, the temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in minutes, even with a window rolled down. The body temperature of a child rises three to five times faster than that of an adult, making them particularly susceptible to heatstroke.
Know your blind zones. A surprising number of accidents occur when a driver is backing out of a driveway or parking spot, particularly if the surroundings are unfamiliar. Backup cameras are helpful but don’t tell you the whole picture; kids, pets, or obstacles may be out of view but still in your path. Check manually to prevent “backovers” and be aware of your vehicles’ blind spots; by taking a little extra care, you can make sure this summer’s road trip is memorable for the right reasons.
THE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 720-372-2824 or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.