4 ways to stay safe during a summer road trip

The roads can be packed during the summer, so drivers should keep a safe distance, avoid distractions and plan for the trip and emergencies to try to stay safe.

Many Texas families choose to go on a vacation during the summer because children do not have to miss any school. With this upswing in family vacationers, the roads tend to be a little more crowded. According to the Online Traffic School, over 30,000 people are killed in car collisions across the country in a single year. Learning about summer road trip safety tips may help everyone better prepare for the journey ahead.

1. Keep a safe distance

Tailgating, or following another vehicle too closely, is the leading cause of highway accidents. If drivers want to avoid a crash, they must choose to keep a safe distance from everyone else on the road. This means increasing the distance between vehicles as the traveling speed increases.

2. Avoid distractions

Drivers need to stay focused on the road during the entire trip. It is easy to get distracted by cranky kids, text messages and droopy eyes. However, families can plan ways to eliminate distractions for whoever is behind the wheel. For example, parents can create game kits for the kids to help keep them entertained and stop them from bothering the driver. Road-trip takers should also designate a co-pilot who can control the radio, give directions and respond to texts for the driver.

3. Plan ahead

Driving on unfamiliar roads can be a distraction in and of itself. Anyone planning on a road trip should map out the route before hitting the road. This can help eliminate stress and prepare the driver for the necessary turns. While planning a trip, families may want to pick places to stop and reserve a room at a hotel along the way.

Planning the trip is not the only way to think ahead. The owner of the vehicle should make sure that the car is up to the challenge of getting everyone from point A to point B. People planning on taking a long trip should check over the car by doing the following:

  • Make sure tires have proper air pressure.
  • Check fluid levels, such as oil, coolant and power steering fluid.
  • Test headlights, blinkers and brake lights.
  • Inspect windshield wipers.

By checking the condition of the car and its important parts, travelers will be able to get on the road with peace of mind.

4. Bring an emergency kit

While the goal might be to avoid emergency-like situations, planning for the worst can help make getting stranded with a flat tire a little easier. During the summer, travelers should include water, jumper cables, maps, nonperishable foods, a flashlight and basic repair tools in their emergency kits.

Not all accidents that take place on Texas roadways can be avoided. It can be beneficial to work with a knowledgeable attorney when a collision leads to an injury.