Summer is the deadliest time of year to drive on the highway. The highest fatality rates of the year occur during July and August because of several factors. These factors include an increased amount of vacation travelers, inexperienced teenagers and drunk drivers on the roads. If you and your family are planning to hit the road for a trip this summer, there are a few things you should carefully plan for in order to ensure you safely return home.
- Check your tires. Before leaving for your summer vacation, a crucial preparation tip is to ensure your tires are ready for the journey. In a recent report, AAA compared braking performance on cars traveling on wet roads going 60 miles an hour with new tires and worn tires. The car with worn tires took 87 feet longer to brake than the car with new tires. That could be the difference between stopping in time or hitting the car or a pedestrian ahead. Ensure that your tires are inflated to the correct pressure before you leave and give them the coin test to determine the tread depth of your tires.
- Drive defensively during rain. Driving in the rain decreases your control and makes it much more difficult to safely stop. Avoid using cruise control while driving through heavy rain because you’ll be able to respond quicker when you are in control of your own speed. If your car hydroplanes, don’t immediately hit the brakes. Instead, slowly steer in the direction you want the car to go.
- Stay alert through construction sites. Summer is also the best time for construction workers to work on road repairs. This can create detours and sudden lane changes, which can result in many more accidents. Be alert through these construction zones by reading the road signs carefully and merging early if you need to switch lanes. Be aware of the cars around you and watch out for any aggressive drivers who are frustrated with the detours and who might make sudden moves.
- Prepare for breakdowns. Before you leave your house, make sure your car battery is completely full. Pack anything else you might need in case of a breakdown, such as jumper cables, a flashlight, first aid kit, etc.
If you were involved in a serious car accident during a family road trip, you could possibly seek compensation for any injuries that were sustained due to someone else’s negligence. Contact Wells, Call, Clark, Bennett & Clawson today for your free consultation.