It’s that time of year again: Spring Break season is here. After an unprecedented year of staying home and staying safe, many families are ready to get out and enjoy a vacation. While you might be excited to hit the road, reach your destination, and start relaxing, it’s important to keep a few things in mind during your travels. To help you get to your vacation spot safely, we have provided six safety tips to follow during your spring break road trip.
1. Perform a pre-trip car safety check.
Prior to hitting the road, you will want to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive for the entirety of the trip. Many families have not used their cars as much as they normally do over the past year; and, therefore, you should get a quick tune-up before hitting the road for a long trip. Making sure your car is running in tip top shape can help you avoid costly future repairs. Common parts that are replaced when tuning up a vehicle can include spark plugs, plug wires, and air and fuel filters. Tune-ups also provide the opportunity to check other components under the hood, such as belts, hoses, and fluids.
You can also conduct your own Vehicle Safety Checklist:
- Tires – Check the air pressure and tread, and make sure you bring a spare tire
- Lights – Ensure all of your lights are in working order, including headlights, rear and brake lights, turn signals, and emergency flashers.
- Wiper Blades – Assess your wiper blades for any wear and tear from the colder months. If they look rough in the slightest, replace them.
- Cooling System – With warmer days ahead, you’ll want to make sure your engine doesn’t overheat while you are driving to or from your Spring Break destination. Check the fluid in the system and if necessary, add water and/or coolant.
- Check for Recalls – With so many auto recalls and product liability issues each year, you’ll want to double check that your vehicle is safe to drive on the road.
2. Avoid distractions and stay alert.
Distracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents in the U.S. and many states have made texting while driving illegal. Focus on the road and always stay alert while operating your vehicle.
3. Wear your seatbelt at all times.
This seems like an obvious point to make to ensure road safety, but you would be surprised how many people still don’t instinctively secure their seatbelts when riding in a car. This could be life-saving advice to follow during your trip, as many motor vehicle accidents result in fatalities because affected drivers and passengers did not buckle up. Additionally, many states like Texas enforce seatbelt laws; and, if violated, it could result in a ticket. Be aware that specific seatbelt laws vary from state to state, depending on the age of the rider and in what seat he or she is sitting.
4. Obey the speed limit.
Though it might be tempting to increase your speed to get to your destination more quickly, we advise against it. Speeding is an aggressive and risky driving behavior that can not only cause you to lose control of your vehicle, but also increases the likelihood and severity of a car crash. According to NHTSA, speeding killed 9,717 people in 2017, accounting for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.
5. Use caution when driving at night.
While many Spring Break road trippers prefer to drive through the night to reach their destinations sooner, it can be an incredibly dangerous choice. Driving at night presents vision impairment and increases risks like drowsy driving, hitting unseen objects, or missing important turns or signage on the roads. Be sure to never drive alone at night if you can help it and stop if you begin to get sleepy on your journey.
Fatigued driving can be just as bad as drunk driving. Get a full night’s sleep and make sure you feel rested so you can stay focused on the road, especially if you’re about to endure a tedious, long-distance trip.
6. Stay COVID safe.
Many states have COVID-19 restrictions in place meant to help keep you and your family safe from the virus. Bring face masks and hand sanitizer with you on your road trip. Make sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds after touching any surfaces that could have the virus. Socially distance from individuals who are outside of your family group. Try to choose outdoor activities and restaurants.
If you choose to stay home and avoiding road travel during spring break this year, we still recommend following these safety tips while commuting throughout your city. Staying alert and avoiding distractions is especially important this time of year, as travelers are on the road and the increased traffic can bring an increased risk of car crashes.
Road Trip Accident Attorneys
Driving to a destination is one of the most popular transportation methods for Spring Break trips. Following these simple tips will help you avoid major issues and will help you feel safer while on the road. However, if you are injured in a car accident, Liggett Law Group is here to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.