Summer Road Trip Safety

Summer is in full swing in the Pacific Northwest, which means along with our backyard barbecues and lazy days spent at the lake, we’re all probably planning a road trip or two. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages drivers to use certain precautions before hitting the road. Here are some of their tips for keeping your car in good driving condition and how to avoid risks that could potentially be dangerous to you, your passengers and other vehicles.

Vehicle maintenance:

Regular tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations are important in preventing breakdowns. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, enough oil and a spare tire in your trunk for emergencies. Also, take the time to have your vehicles tire pressure checked and inspect your tires for signs of excessive or uneven wear. According to the NHTSA, a tire doesn’t have to be punctured to lose air; underinflation is the leading cause of tire failure. 

Have your air conditioning checked before travelling. Lack of air conditioning on a hot summer day can be detrimental to people who are poor in health or are sensitive to heat, such as children and older adults. Make sure all of the lights on your vehicle are working- check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights. If you’re towing a trailer be sure to also check your trailer’s brake lights and turn signals. 

Emergency Roadside Kit:

The NHTSA suggests putting together an emergency roadside kit to store in your car. The kit should include: a cell phone and car charger, a first aid kit and flashlight, flares and a white flag, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, jack for changing a tire, work gloves, basic repair tools (this includes duct tape!) water and paper towels, nonperishable food, drinking water and medicines, maps, and finally, emergency blankets.

Plan your trip:

Plan, map, and estimate the duration of your road trip ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to let others know your plans in case of emergencies and to check-in periodically to let them know where you are. If you’re travelling someplace new, consider purchasing a portable GPS navigation system to assist you with driving directions.

Keep these tips in mind as you travel throughout the summer. Stay safe and have a wonderful time, and as always, if you need to speak with an experienced attorney, contact GLP Attorneys.

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