The increase in people on the roads and the potential for impaired driving, especially on holidays, can make summer travel dangerous, whether you are staying close to home or heading out of town. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages you to prepare for save travels this summer. Consider these tips before you go:
- Wear your seat belt: This is a simple yet critical step in ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers. Everyone in the vehicle should wear seat belts at all times, no matter how short the trip or whether you’re on the interstate or a rural road.
- Put children in safety seats: The use of child safety seats appropriate to a child’s age and size is an effective way to decrease injury. The NHTSA also recommends that children ages 13 and under should sit in the back seat.
- Get your vehicle in shape: It’s a good idea to make sure you have had tire checks, oil changes and other regular maintenance completed before your trip to reduce the chance of a breakdown.
- Drive smart: Keep your eyes and mind on the road, and always designate a sober driver. Drunk and distracted driving can cause catastrophic or fatal accidents.
In addition, remember that summer driving can involve other issues, such as:
- Watching out for motorcycles: More cyclists take to the road in summer months so it is important to be aware of them. Remember to share the road, give motorcyclists extra room when you are behind them, and to check your mirrors and blind spots to ensure you don’t cut off a motorcycle in traffic.
- Being careful in construction zones: Follow the posted speed limits for work zones and keep your focus on the traffic, which can change rapidly in stop-and-go conditions.
Being a safe driver reduces your chances of being in an accident. You cannot, however, control other drivers on the road. If you are injured in a car accident this summer, you may wish to discuss the accident with an attorney to find out whether you are entitled to damages.