Keys to Making Sure Your Summer Road Trip Is Safe and Memorable

Summer is the perfect time of year for taking a long road trip. It is the time of year that many people jump in the car and take off to enjoy a weekend of camping, hitting the beach, visiting friends, or heading to an amusement park. Longer road trips mean more time on the road. That, coupled with the fact that more people travel in the summer in general, can lead to disaster.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that more traffic accidents occur over the holidays than any other time of year. Whether Memorial Day, 4th of July, or school summer break, Arizona and other states see a spike in motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities. While some of the reported accidents involve drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol, others were the result of distractions such as luggage, loud music, pets, or even simple conversation. The fact that road trips often involve more passengers in vehicles can magnify these distractions.

Consider doing the following when setting out on your road trip:

● Be sure your vehicle is in good working order. Have it checked over thoroughly by a mechanic before leaving on your trip.

● Although you may be tempted to pack a lot, only take along the necessities and be sure that they are secured correctly in the trunk or in a roof storage box that has been professionally installed, is tightly closed, and locked. During an accident, many people suffer injuries due to debris that isn’t properly secured in or on top of the vehicle.

● If you bring your pet, install a properly fitting harness in your vehicle to keep you less distracted and to keep them safe in the event of an accident.

● Ask your passengers to keep their conversation volumes to a minimum and give them jobs to assist you, such as navigating your course, or entertaining the younger passengers.

● Create a plan for breaking down. Know what your insurance will cover and keep phone numbers of towing companies along your route handy.

● Know your travel plans. If you miss a turn, do not try to cross lanes or stop and make a U-turn. Instead, stay in your lane and wait until you can safely make an exit and then turn around.

● Never drive when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

● Never drive when you are drowsy or fatigued. This can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Even when taking all of the above precautions, accidents can still happen. If you and your loved ones find yourselves involved in a car accident this summer, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Contact the attorneys at Wattel & York today to schedule a free consultation.