While summer may be winding down, many people are gearing up to take one last road trip before the season is officially over. Whether you are taking a family RV trip, traveling with friends by car, truck or SUV or riding solo on a motorcycle excursion, it is important to stay safe when roaming in and out of Hernando County this summer. Getting to your destination safely is half the battle, so make sure you are prepared for how to deal with a possible breakdown or highway collision before you pack up your vehicle and head out of town.
Making sure your vehicle is regularly maintained and inspected can help you avoid any unplanned accidents. While it is a good idea to make sure your car is up to date with routine oil changes, tire rotations and tune-ups, you should also have your car checked before you leave for a trip. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and that your spare is also full of air. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, under-inflation is the number one cause of tire blowouts. Check to make sure your headlights, taillights and turn signals are in working order. Take a look under the hood of your vehicle to ensure that all your belts and hoses are connected properly. Should a warning light come one in your vehicle while you’re driving, or should you detect any strange noises coming from your car, pull over immediately and check out the situation.
If you are traveling with children, make sure that car seats and booster seats are appropriately installed and fastened. Keep in mind that when you are road tripping with children that you may place them at risk for heat stroke if you leave them unattended in a vehicle. Leaving children unattended in a vehicle with the windows rolled down with temperatures outside in the low 80s° can still cause the temperature inside the vehicle to reach lethal levels in just 10 minutes, according to the NHTSA. Never leave children alone in a car and always make sure your vehicle is locked when not in use. Children can easily become involved in an accident when a vehicle is left unlocked.
Once you are on the road, make sure you keep your attention focused on driving safely. Do not allow yourself to become distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, drinking or playing with electronic devices. Statistics from the NHTSA show that around 80 percent of collisions and 65 percent of near-collisions involve some type of driver distraction.
Make sure that you and the rest of your passengers are buckled up. Did you know that wearing a seat belt is the best defense against a drunk driving collision? According to the NHTSA, every 45 minutes, 32 times a day, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related accident. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by being responsible, do not drink and drive. If you know you’re going to be consuming alcohol, make plans for safe transportation back before going out.
The above tips can keep you and your friends and family safe this summer while exploring the open road. However, no matter how safe and responsible of a driver you may be, you can still become involved in an accident. If you or someone you care for has been in a motor vehicle accident while traveling through Spring Hill or elsewhere in Hernando County, contact the Hernando County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call 352-666-6666.