Road trips are one of the most popular vacation options in the U.S., with 45% of people having taken at least one road trip in the past year, according to AAA, but you may get into an accident which is when you should contact a Chicago car accident lawyer. In fact, 1 out of every 5 of those trips will end in an automobile accident, with half of those accidents taking place on freeways and highways. If you’re planning on taking a long road trip and want to minimize your chances of being involved in an accident, here are five safety tips to keep in mind when traveling on the road according to our friends at Disparti Law Group.
Anticipate Long Stops
This can be due to something as simple as construction causing a traffic jam, or it could be something more significant. That’s why you should stock up on emergency essentials — supplies such as an airbag pressure gauge, a first-aid kit, flares, and jumper cables will help get you through a roadside emergency. If you don’t know what to bring or need more information on what to include in your own kit, do a quick online search before leaving for your trip. Also, keep your car well maintained: drive responsibly and stay alert. Know how much gas is in the tank and keep it topped off. Have all regular maintenance done such as oil changes and inspections to make sure everything’s running smoothly. A well-maintained car lasts longer and drives better!
Use Defensive Driving Techniques
Safe driving habits are important for the entire trip, but defensive driving techniques are more crucial while traveling. To stay safe on the road, keep these following safety tips in mind:
- If possible, travel during daylight hours when you can see pedestrians and other vehicles in front of you.
- Always pay attention to your speed limit and don’t speed.
- Never use any kind of distracting device that could hinder your ability to control the vehicle.
- Allow a lot of space between you and other drivers on the road to ensure safety from unpredictable drivers and obstacles.
- Try to plan trips so that you are not hitting rush hour traffic in highly congested areas where people are more likely to drive recklessly.
Don’t Doze Off
Remember to drink lots of water before and during the trip, take breaks, and avoid driving at night when possible. Though it might be tempting to zone out behind the wheel on a long road trip, don’t doze off: it’s one of the most common causes of accidents. It may seem daunting to remember all these safety precautions while you’re driving, but they’ll come in handy if you find yourself in an emergency situation or needing some much-needed rest.
Watch Out For Kids
Drivers should watch out for children who are around when cars are approaching. In some communities, children will often start running towards the car when it’s slowing down to a stop. Drivers need to pay attention for any movement, and this includes the see-saw motion of a child’s hands. Finally, drivers need to be aware of just how fast they’re going while they’re driving – a slow speed isn’t always enough because it only takes a few seconds to hurt a child!
Pack enough snacks and drinks to avoid stopping at a gas station or rest stop. The reason for this is that you might have to wait in a long line, which could be time-consuming. Pack an ice chest filled with frozen water bottles to keep food cool and cold drinks cold. Bring the appropriate entertainment for everyone in the car so you do not get bored and distracted from watching the road. The more time you spend on the road with more stops, the more likely you are to get into an accident.
If you do happen to get into a car accident, contact an attorney immediately.