Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many vacationers are choosing to hit the highways this summer, opting for road trips as a safer, more socially distanced means of travel. While in some instances this may lessen the chances of contracting COVID-19, unfortunately, it may also increase the risk of being involved in a car accident.
Whether with another motor vehicle on an Albuquerque street, a semi truck on a two-lane highway, or due to drowsiness, car accidents occur all too often, resulting in an estimated 38,800 car crash deaths in 2019, as reported by the National Safety Council. Still, many agree that during these unprecedented times, driving is the safer option when it comes to travel.
5 Road Trip Tips
After being stuck in the house since March, it’s obvious that many are itching to get out—but doing so safely is key! So, what steps can you take to improve the safety of you and your passengers while on the road? The Dinelli Law Firm in New Mexico recommends following these tips for safer, summer road trips:
- Service Your Vehicle
Having your vehicle checked to ensure it’s operating at 100% efficiency will not only make for safer travels, but will also grant you peace of mind while on the road. Make sure your tires, battery, fluids, air conditioner, seatbelts, and hoses are checked by a qualified mechanic, and notify them of where you’re traveling and what you’re taking so that they can prepare your vehicle for hot or cold climates, towing a trailer, and more.
- Prepare a Safety Kit
In the event that something were to happen while on the road, like a car accident or tire blow out, having an emergency kit is crucial. The NHTSA recommends including the following items in your kit:
- Cell phone and charger
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Tire pressure gauge
- Blankets, towels, coats
- Basic repair tools
- Non-perishable food and medicine
- And more
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Being alert, focused, and able to react quickly are all important factors while driving—and they’re also a result of a good night’s sleep! Plan ahead so that you can get 8+ hours of sleep before you hit the road. If possible, travel with other passengers and ensure they’re also well rested so that you can switch drivers every few hours.
- Plan Ahead
Plan your travel and route ahead of time, taking factors such as weather conditions, road conditions, speed limits, and traffic into consideration. Know where gas stations are along the way so that you can stop for gas, food, the restroom, and to give yourself a break, allowing you to freshen up from driving. Additionally, always allow yourself ample time to get to your destination safely.
- Don’t Drive Distracted
Distracted driving entails anything that takes your hands off of the wheel, eyes off of the road, and mind off of driving. From using your cell phone to blaring loud music, know that when you get behind the wheel, you should dedicate yourself entirely to driving and avoid anything that could put you and your passengers at risk.
Following these tips will increase your chances of a safe road trip this summer! However, if you find yourself to be the victim of a car accident, The Dinelli Law Firm is here to fight for you—just call us at (505) 58-2157 for Albuquerque’s most dedicated car accident lawyer.