As summer is approaching, more people are getting ready for their annual road trips. It’s a fun and relaxing way to unwind and have a change of pace after working hard all year. A road trip also seems like a fun idea, especially if you and your travel buddies have been vaccinated and wanted to finally travel and explore after a year of strict quarantine. However, it’s also important to take precautions when taking road trips. California has one of the busiest roads in the country. After all, there are over 17 million registered automobiles in the golden state. It’s no surprise that car accidents are also not an uncommon occurrence in California. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports 3,563 car accident fatalities throughout the state in 2018 alone, while over 200,000 people are injured every year. With no further ado, here are some helpful tips that can help you stay safe during your road trip:
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Perform vehicle maintenance beforehand
Before any long trips, you must perform complete vehicle maintenance. This includes oil changes, tune-ups, battery and tire pressure checks, and of course, don’t forget to check if your brakes are properly working as well.
This is an important step as you don’t want to suddenly experience mechanical failure while you’re in the middle of the road. It’s also really dangerous if your vehicle suddenly stops in the middle of the freeway. To avoid this, do not skip this step. It can be quite a tedious one, but it’s worth doing for your safety and the safety of your travel buddies.
Make sure you have enough sleep
Going on a road trip may leave you excited. However, too much excitement may lead to a lack of sleep. The night before the trip, make sure that you get enough sleep, especially if you drive for several hours. Drowsy driving accounts for 16.5% of fatal car crashes.
If you feel that your body cannot handle driving for long periods, make sure that you have another capable driver with you to change shifts.
Have an emergency kit prepared
So many unexpected things can happen during a road trip, which is why it is important to plan ahead. Having an emergency kit ready in your vehicle can help you in case any emergency arises. Your kit must include the following:
- A cellphone and a power bank
- A first aid kit
- A flashlight
- Jumper cables
- Spare Tire
- Non-perishable food items such as canned goods and granola bars
Have your route planned out
Although a spontaneous road trip may sound fun, it’s not fun when you’re traveling in an unfamiliar land with no idea to go. Has your route planned out beforehand? Consider how long you’ll be driving and which places you can park and have stopovers.
Having stopovers is essential as driving for too long may cause over fatigue, and stopovers can also serve as a bathroom break for you and your travel buddies.
Eat before hitting the road
With so many fast-food restaurants offering drive-thrus these days, it can be tempting just to grab breakfast at a nearby drive-thru. However, eating while driving can serve as a major distraction. If you can’t have breakfast at your home, you can either eat inside the restaurant or park your car and eat before hitting the road.
Keep your eyes on the road
Distracted driving can lead to fatal consequences. Many serious and fatal accidents happen when motorists use their phones, speak with their passengers, or eat.
In 2019, 3,142 people were killed due to distracted driving. It’s common for drivers to think that they can still drive perfectly fine while talking or texting, using social media, setting their GPS, or playing music.
When you’re driving for a long time, you must keep distractions at a minimum. This includes friendly chatters from your travel buddies and children crying in the backseat.
Make sure that you keep noise at a minimum. If you are traveling with a child, you should have someone else in the car who can take care of them and help calm them down if they start having tantrums.
It’s important to understand that it’s not just your safety at stake here, but the safety of the other motorists on the road as well.
If you find yourself in a major car accident anywhere in the golden state, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced California car accident lawyer immediately.