Many families are changing vacation plans this summer—forgoing plane rides to far-off locales in favor of socially distanced road trips or visits to family members, campsites and off-the-track vacation rentals.
But if you’re planning a trip, the last thing you want is for a car wreck to derail your plans, or worse, leave you or your family members injured. Before you load up the kids, make sure you follow these tips to avoid ending the trip early.
Prepare your car for the road. Is your vehicle road ready? Especially if you’ve been driving less lately, it’s important to get your car, truck or SUV checked out to confirm it’s up to the job. You’ll want to make sure you’ve had a recent oil change, your tires are properly inflated, you have fresh wiper blades and your air filters are in good condition. If your kids use car seats or booster seats, make sure the child safety restraints are installed correctly.
Prepare yourself for the road. While you’re getting your car ready, don’t forget to prepare yourself. Map out your route, even though you’ll likely use GPS. If you’ll be making a long trip, choose your hotels early. The night before, try to get some sleep—it will leave you focused and more relaxed behind the wheel.
Don’t drive distracted. With movies playing for the kids, adjustments to the audiobook, confusing directions, and texts and social media notifications streaming in, it can be hard to concentrate on the road. Don’t let distractions pull you away from your primary job—driving your family safely from one place to another. Place your phone where you can’t touch it. Review directions beforehand or have another family member navigate. And, if you expect your kids will be arguing or otherwise distracting, talk to them about expectations beforehand and give them breaks to let off steam.
Follow the speed limit. Speed is a major determining factor in your likelihood of having a crash. That’s why it’s so important to follow the speed limit—even if you’re running behind or you’re worried you won’t make check-in. When you’re on unfamiliar roads, it’s easy to be surprised by a sudden sharp turn or an unexpected intersection. Following the speed limit helps you react to these dangers, along with darting animals and unpredictable drivers.
Take a break. When you log hour after hour behind the wheel, the road and the other cars on it start to all look the same. Make sure you stop frequently, and not just for gas or more coffee. Get up and stretch your legs for a bit. Plan ahead to find safe, open areas for the kids to play or kick a ball. Pull over and take in the scenic view or roadside oddity. Chances are, these are the things you’ll remember from the trip years from now.
Be ready for an emergency. If you do experience an accident or a breakdown, don’t be left unprepared. Keep your car stocked with first aid supplies, water, food and blankets. You’ll also want to have jumper cables and a spare tire in good condition.
Plan ahead, take your time and enjoy your trip!
Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you deserve fair compensation. An Atlanta car accident attorney can help you take on the insurance company, allowing you to move on with your life. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian for a free consultation.