Most of us will spend at least some of the upcoming summer on a road trip, whether it's a weekend at the lake or a drive to Disney World. No one wants their vacation marred by a crash. We can't control what other drivers do, but there are steps we can all take to protect those in our vehicle.
First, make sure that your vehicle is ready for a road trip. This includes making sure you've got plenty of oil, water and battery life. Be certain the tires are in good shape. A blowout can cause a serious accident.
Ensure that everyone in your car has the proper restraints. This can help minimize injuries and prevent tragedy if you are in a crash. All kids who are still small and/or young enough to require child safety seats need to be in them. Everyone else should wear their seat belts at all times.
Stay focused on the road. This can be challenging with multiple passengers, including kids. Don't add to your distractions by texting, talking on the phone or checking your email.
Don't drive drowsy. It's often tempting on long road trips to get as far as you can in a single day. However, driving too many hours, particularly after dark, can cause drivers to doze off or let their minds wander. If you don't have other drivers to trade off with, stop for the night and get an early start in the morning.
Pay attention to posted speed limits. These can change quickly as you move from one state to the next or even from one type of road to another.
Be patient with other drivers. They may be vacationing here on the Gulf Coast and not know the area well. You'll appreciate that patience and courtesy from other drivers when you venture into an area with which you're not familiar.
If you're stopping for lunch, dinner or just to enjoy the sights along the way, don't drink if you're going to get back behind the wheel. No matter what state you travel to or through, none of them take drunk driving lightly. More importantly, you'll be risking the lives of everyone in your vehicle.
If you're unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash caused by a driver who wasn't following these tips, you have the right to seek compensation for injuries, damages and other financial losses.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Drive Safe On the Roads this Summer," accessed May 29, 2018