Across the country, Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. The warm, sunny season is a great time to get on the road with friends and family, exploring the country and various points of interest. To keep you and your passengers safe, we urge you to take a little time to prepare your vehicle and reduce your risk of getting in an auto accident. When it comes to road trip safety, a little preparation and vehicle maintenance can go a long way.
The following road-trip preparedness tips come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Routinely maintain your vehicle: Regular maintenance on your vehicle reduces your accident risk by eliminating the factor of a breakdown, tire blowout, belt snapping and other common problems. At a minimum, routine maintenance of your vehicle should include:
- Oil change
- Tune up
- Battery test
- Tire rotation/alignment
- Tire pressure check
- Buckle your seat belt every time: Seat belts save lives. They can prevent ejection from the vehicle in the event of an accident and also prevent serious injuries. According to the NHTSA, when front-seat passengers wear a seat belt, their risk of fatal injury is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury is reduced by 50 percent.
- Never drink and drive: Alcohol delays your reaction time, reduces your ability to concentrate, impairs your vision, and makes you more drowsy. All of these things and other effects of drinking make it dangerous to drive and increase the risk of a drunk driving accident. Be a responsible driver and commit to never drink and drive. If you plan to drink, make sure a sober driver has been designated or that you have arranged for a taxi, Uber or other means of getting home.
- Prevent distracted driving: Distraction is a major cause of car wrecks. Texting, talking on a phone, adjusting audio controls and using GPS navigation can all potentially lead to a distracted driving accident. Put away anything that distracts you from the task of driving during your road trip.
- Obey “move over” laws: The “move over” law is effective in all 50 states and prevents accidents involving law enforcement officials providing motorist assistance on the side of the road. Move over to the other lane to give the officer(s) a safe distance from your vehicle.
These preparedness measures and any others you have adopted should help you stay safer when traveling the American roadways this summer season.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please call the Ricci Law Firm for a free case review at (252) 777-2222. The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Ricci Law Firm serve Fayetteville, Greenville, Raleigh and all of the surrounding areas in North Carolina.