This summer, whether you’ll be lounging and relaxing around your home town or off on a vacation, you’ll likely be spending a good amount of your time driving in a car. With summer comes warm weather, crowded roads, and sometimes overly-packed cars. In order to keep yourself and your passengers happy and healthy, practice these safe driving tips.
1. Plan Ahead
Whether you’re headed out for a long vacation or a short drive to the beach, always be sure you plan ahead. Check road conditions, including possible construction zones or high-traffic areas you may go through. Also, check weather reports and make sure you and your car are ready for whatever comes your way.
2. Always Have Water in Your Vehicle
Having water in your car is always a good idea, especially in case of an emergency. Keeping a case or a few jugs of water in the trunk or back seat can come in handy and even save your life. Water is essential especially when the heat rises in the summer. If you simply aren’t prepared for the heat one day and need an extra bit of water to get you through, your extra supplies can come in handy.
3. Prepare Your Car
Even if you regularly maintain your car, always go over it again before heading out for a trip. Check the engine fluids to ensure they’re at their proper levels, and make sure your lights, blinkers, windshield wipers, and other essentials are all in working order. It’s also important that your tires, including your spare, are in top shape. When the weather gets warmer, tires can sometimes crack and change air pressure, so it’s especially important to check your tires to make sure they’re in good condition, or you run the risk of getting a flat.
4. Share the Road
The roads are often more crowded during summer months, though not always with more cars. Be aware of anyone else on the road, like bicyclists, runners or pedestrians out enjoying the fine weather. There are also more motorcyclists on the road when the weather warms up, so always check your blind spots and drive cautiously.
5. Buckle Up
Always buckle up. Not only is wearing your seat belt the law, it is also the easiest thing you can do to guard yourself and your passengers against serious injury or death, should you crash. While it may be tempting to let the kids squish in the back on their way home from the beach or to let your 6 year old sit without his booster seat, remember to always put safety first. All passengers should wear a seatbelt at all times, infants should be secured in a rear-facing car seat, babies and toddlers in a forward-facing car seat, and children in booster seats until they fit the vehicle’s seat belts properly.
6. Avoid Distractions
There are many distractions that effect our ability to drive on a normal basis, but sometimes summer can offer even more interferences. Always avoid using your phone while driving, which includes texting or internet or app use. Start the music before you drive and do not attempt to change playlists or other controls while you are driving.
Also, if your car is full it can be difficult to focus on the task at hand among all the commotion. Ask passengers to allow you to focus on driving, or, if they are children, try to provide them with entertainment before the drive begins.
7. Never Leave a Child in a Car
While children should never be left alone in vehicles, this is especially important during summer months when the temperature rises drastically. If the outside temperature is hot, the interior temperature could be 40 degrees warmer, which can result in heat stroke and other serious health repercussions for anyone stuck inside a car on a hot day. Even with the windows cracked, the health risk is huge.
If you ever accidentally lock your child in the car, or you see a child locked in a car on a hot day, call 911 immediately. For that matter, do not leave pets in hot cars either, as the heat can be just as dangerous for them.
At Hartman - Imbriale LLP, we sincerely encourage our clients to follow these safety tips this summer to avoid unnecessary accidents, however, we understand that sometimes incidents just happen. If you or a loved one was wrongfully injured in an accident this summer because of the negligence or careless ness of someone else, our legal team can help. Contact Hartman - Imbriale LLP to schedule a free case review regarding your motor vehicle accident.