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Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

Are you planning on going on a road trip this summer? If so, this article is for you. No matter how careful and aware a driver you are, there are plenty of dangers on the road that you may still encounter. In 2019, there were 529 fatal car accidents and thousands of crashes in New Jersey alone. Whether you plan on taking your trip by car, motorcycle, or any other kind of motor vehicle, safety should always come first.

However, sometimes despite all your careful preparations and attentive driving, you get in an accident. When that happens, no matter how minor your injuries, after you call the police and seek medical attention, be sure to consult with a personal injury lawyer regarding the details of your case. Our personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman can leverage their more than 50 years of experience to help you with any legal proceedings due to a car accident. Our team will work hard on your behalf to get you the compensation you justly deserve. For the best car accident attorneys in New Jersey, send us a message online. We look forward to being able to help you start rebuilding your life after your car accident injury.

5 Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

Driving long distances when you go on vacation requires greater attentiveness and patience than most drivers are used to. As you put on mile after mile on the speedometer, the fatigue and trance-inducing highways can put you at risk. To make your drive as safe and stress-free as possible, follow the following safety tips:

#1: Get a Tune-Up

One of the most important things to do before you set out on your road-trip is take your car in for a tune-up. Make sure that every part of your vehicle — from the carburetor to the air conditioner — is in good working order. You don’t want to get stranded somewhere because you forgot to air up the tires first, right? Mechanical and electrical issues in cars not only put you at greater risk of getting in a car accident, they also increase your chances of distracted driving by causing you to pay attention to the squeaky noise in the engine instead of what’s happening on the road, for example.

#2: Prepare an Emergency Kit

Once you get all your summer clothes packed in bags, it would be a wise move to prepare a kit designed in case of emergencies. This pack should include things like an extra charger for your cell phone, jumper cables, extra snacks, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Outside the emergency kit, having lots of water easily accessible will also help enormously. Normally we would advise you not to drink and drive (and that actually includes drinking water, which can temporarily distract you from the road), but on long road trips it’s important that you stay hydrated — so have a water bottle within easy reach as you drive.

#3: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Before heading out on your road trip, review the driving conditions and potential obstacles along your route. If you are driving through the center of a metropolis, expect heavy traffic. However, most obstacles will be unknown until you’re out on the road. An attentive attitude will be your best protection against getting in a car accident. Look out for road signs and detours and watch out for construction zones. You want to give yourself as much time to react appropriately before a hazard emerges so you don’t end up swerving and causing an accident. You can’t always predict what will happen on the road, but you can do everything you can to stay alert.

One thing to check before heading out on your road trip is the weather report. If it is going to rain, be prepared to keep a greater distance between you and the cars in front of you. If it’s going to be sunny, double-check that you brought your sunglasses. It sounds simple, but a little bit of preparation before heading out can have a significant impact on reducing your chances of getting in a car accident.

#4: Take Your Time

You really want to get to your destination in good time, but the drive to getting there is probably not the thing you are looking forward to most. However, when you drive at high speeds you put yourself at significantly higher risk of getting in an accident. The faster you go, the less time you have to react to potential hazards and the more your braking distance will have to increase to remain safe. Always obey the speed limit and don’t ever drive faster than you feel comfortable driving. If there is inclement weather or construction, it may be reasonable to drive below the speed limit to ensure your safety. This drive is a marathon, not a sprint — so there’s no sense in speeding when, in the long run, it’s going to make practically no difference in how long it takes for you to get to your travel destination.

#5: Avoid Distracted Driving

One of the greatest risks when driving on a road trip is actually yourself. It is very easy to get distracted while driving. There are three primary types of distracted driving:

  1. Visual
  2. Manual
  3. Cognitive

Visual distractions are things that cause you to take your eyes off the road, like a bird or sunset. Other visual distractions include reading text messages, GPS notifications, and other cars.

A manual distraction, on the other hand, is anything that causes you to take your hands off the wheel. These are things like responding to texts, adjusting the radio, and eating or drinking. By taking your hands off the wheel, you are significantly reducing your response time to potential road hazards, endangering yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.

Lastly, there are cognitive distractions. These are the distractions that are going to become more pronounced the longer you find yourself on the road. Your mind may become fuzzy due to exhaustion, or perhaps you are arguing with your spouse, leaving you fuming. Whatever the cognitive condition, it distracts you from being able to focus on what you should be focusing on:

What to Do If You Get in a Car Accident

If the worst happens and you get in a car accident on your summer road trip, after getting medical attention, get help from a personal injury lawyer like us at The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman. If you need a personal injury attorney in New Jersey, contact us today — we will get you the compensation you deserve.