Jun 2013

New England Road Trip? Preparation & Safety are Key

Summer is a prime season for drivers to take road trips and our Fall River accident lawyers know that many people through Massachusetts will be heading out on vacations in their cars this summer. Unfortunately, with drivers on the road taking trips and with vacationers traveling in their cars for long distances, the chances of a car accident are increased. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA recently provided information for drivers taking summer road trips about how they can avoid risky behaviors that can increase the risk of accident injuries. NHTSA’s recent safety advisory has several key tips for drivers heading out on road trips and everyone should consider the advice in order to stay safe over the summer.

Tips for Summer Road Trip Safety

NHTSA’s tips focus on both driver and passenger behavior and on how to prepare a vehicle for a safe trip. To avoid endangering yourself and others, NHTSA recommends:

  • Making sure that regular maintenance is performed on your car to keep it in top shape. Tune-ups, battery checks, tire rotations and oil checks can keep your vehicle running well and can avoid disasters like a vehicle breaking down while you are driving.
  • Using a tire pressure gauge regularly. NHTSA recommends checking tire pressure, including the pressure on the spare, at least one time per month in order to prevent a blowout that could lead to a dangerous accident.
  • Checking all lights on vehicles. Headlights, of course, are necessary to help you to see in the dark. Brake lights, emergency flashers and turn signals are all important lights as well as they allow you to communicate your intentions to other drivers in order to avoid car wrecks.
  • Having an emergency roadside kit. A fully charged cell phone; jumper cables; drinking water and nonperishable foods will help you to stay hydrated and safe in the event that your car does break down.
  • Buckling seat belts on every road trip. Wearing your seat belt can help to reduce the chances of dying or suffering serious injury if you are involved in a crash.
  • Avoiding drinking and driving or driving while distracted. It is very dangerous to drive when impaired and it is just as risky to drive while looking at a cell phone, texting or facing other distractions. You endanger yourself when you drive drunk or distracted and you also put other motorists, pedestrians and bicycle riders at risk.
  • Protecting children in the car. Kids should be in age-appropriate car seats in order to ensure they are protected in the event of a crash. Children under the age of 12 should not sit in the front seat as airbag injuries could occur, and no kids should ever be left inside of cars since heatstroke can happen within just a few minutes.
  • Looking out for pedestrians, bike riders and motorcycle riders. People tend to be on their bikes or on foot more often during the summer in order to enjoy the warm weather. Drivers need to do their part to protect those who share the road on foot or on a bike or motorcycle.

By following these tips, Fall River drivers can enjoy road trips throughout Massachusetts and beyond while staying safe and minimizing the risk of an auto accident occurring.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact an experienced lawyer at 508-677-4900. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl serves clients in Providence, R.I., Foxborough and Fall River, Mass.

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