Summer vacation is perfect for road tripping in the United States, making now a great time to brush up on summer driving safety tips and, with the pandemic still ongoing , it is also a good idea to review COVID-19 safety precautions. This time of the year is often referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days” due to the increase in traffic accidents. Summer weather also presents its own unique dangers, such as a heightened risk for heat-related illnesses. We at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., are here to help make your road trip as safe as possible.
Potential Road Trip Hazards
Planning for a safe road trip starts with reviewing its potential hazards, a few of which include:
- Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses: From heat exhaustion to heat stroke, it is important to avoid overheating while on the road. Make sure your vehicle has a good air conditioning system, and remember to drink lots of water. While inconvenient, it is better to have to pull over to use the restroom than to have to go to the hospital because of a heat-related illness.
- Distracted driving: Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,000 people lost their lives due to distracted driving in 2019. Don’t put yours on the line. Minimize distractions when you are driving by silencing your cell phone and stowing it away out of reach.
- Heavy traffic: When people rubberneck at accidents, it can lead to another accident. After all, this is another form of distracted driving. Drive with caution and be aware of your surroundings. For instance, keep an eye out for traffic up ahead and be patient if you find yourself stuck in it.
How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Road Trip
It is possible to avoid many roadside mishaps with a bit of preparation. Make it a point to have a professional inspect your vehicle before the road trip. This can prevent your vehicle from breaking down while on the road trip, therefore saving you from having to wait in the summer heat until help arrives.
The NHTSA recommends the following components be checked as part of the “Vehicle Safety Checklist”:
- Car battery
- Cooling system
- Fluid levels
- Belts and hoses
- Wiper blades
- Air conditioning
- Floor mats
Stow Before You Go
Unfortunately, even the most well-maintained vehicles can break down. Be sure to pack an emergency kit so you can be prepared for the worst:
- Cell phone and charger
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Road flares
- Drinking water
- Water for the car radiator
- Non-perishable, high-calorie food/snacks
- Emergency blankets
- Gloves for warmth and work
- Spare tire
These are only the basics. If you are handy and know your way around a car engine, it may also be helpful to pack screwdrivers and wrenches. However, we recommend calling a professional if your car breaks down.
What to Do After an Accident
If you are involved in an accident, there are a few rules of thumb to follow:
- Take stock of everyone’s injuries and, if needed, call 911.
- Take pictures of all vehicles involved, as well as of the scene of the crash.
- Swap insurance and contact information with the other driver(s).
- Get the contact information of any witnesses.
Even if you do not need emergency medical help, it is a good idea to see a doctor as soon as you can. It is possible to sustain an internal injury, such as a head or brain injury, without knowing it. It is also a good idea to speak to an attorney. If the other party was at fault and you were injured, you could be entitled to financial compensation.
Putting Clients First for 40+ Years
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we help traffic accident victims in New York City and throughout the state. Sadly, when negligent drivers are on the road, even the safest drivers can be injured. If you have been injured, contact our trial attorneys online today for a free consultation. We can also be reached at (212) 577-9325.