A summer road trip can be a very enjoyable vacation. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a companion, or with your entire family, a road trip gives you the chance to explore the country and visit multiple communities and attractions.
You simply want to ensure your trip is as enjoyable as possible by taking all necessary steps to guard against being harmed in a motor vehicle accident. Along with obeying the rules of the road, you can minimize your chances of being injured in an avoidable car accident by keeping the following tips in mind:
Plan to take breaks
You may be a responsible motorist who understands that you should never ever get behind the wheel when you are intoxicated. However, it’s worth noting that outreach programs and public service announcements have placed so much emphasis on the importance of not driving while drunk or on drugs that another very dangerous behavior is often forgotten about: driving while tired.
Researchers have found that lack of sleep can impair one’s motor skills and cognitive abilities in virtually the same way that alcohol can. That means that driving while drowsy can be just as risky as driving while drunk.
Keep this in mind when planning your trip. Make sure you will have adequate time to rest, and remember that unexpected traffic conditions can add to the amount of time you spend on the road. Don’t assume traffic conditions will be ideal when you plan where and when you will take rest breaks.
Research dangerous roads and intersections
Most state and county governments track motor vehicle accident rates and data. Although some government agencies only record the number of accidents that occur within a given city, county, or state, some agencies go a step further and track the frequency of accidents on certain roads and at certain intersections.
Although this task may take some time, it is highly advisable to look into whether certain intersections and roads along your planned route have high accident rates. Identifying such dangerous spots could give you the opportunity to optimize your safety by planning alternate routes that allow you to avoid these areas. If avoiding them entirely is simply impossible, at the very least, you will know that you need to exercise caution when driving in them.
Pack emergency items
Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is critical before a road trip. Items you should pack in case your vehicle breaks down without warning include the following:
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Food and water
- Cutting tools
- Waterproof matches
- Portable phone chargers
- Blankets and pillows
- Road flares
All that said, even if you are a responsible motorist who prepares thoroughly before a trip, you could still be involved in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence or from factors completely outside of your control.
Hopefully, this will never happen. If it does, though, you may be eligible to recover compensation for such losses as your medical bills, lost wages, and more. A Boston car accident attorney at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C., can help you pursue what you may deserve in these circumstances. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 617-698-6000 to schedule a consultation.