A Spring Break road trip can be a fun time with friends or the whole family, but you should always keep safety in mind. For many people, Spring Break is a vacation from school and work and the perfect time for parties. Unfortunately, this can lead to drunk drivers on the road. Further, drunk drivers aren’t the only hazard you might face on your trip. Problems can arise from your own vehicle or even a lack of knowledge.
If you’re planning vehicle travel this Spring Break, here are some things to think about:
CAR & TIRE MAINTENANCE
Before you hit the road, make sure your car is good to go. Most car breakdowns happen due to battery failure, so you can go ahead and start there. If your engine is struggling to turn over upon ignition or you notice “fuzz” forming around the battery, it might be time for a replacement. Having your car, brakes, and battery checked before you head out is always a good idea. You can also get an oil change and ask your mechanic to top off your fluids, as well. Aside from gas, oil is the most crucial component in making your engine run.
Similarly, your car won’t go very far without tires. Make sure all your tires are full and consider having them rotated before you take off. You should also double-check that there’s a spare in your trunk!
If you’re trying to figure out where you’re going, your attention is not fully on the road. To prevent distraction, program your GPS ahead of time and keep maps in the car in case technology fails. You should also have a general idea of your route before you get going and share it with someone you trust in case you get stranded. It’s always a good idea to give a reasonable ETA and keep up with friends and family during breaks. This is especially important if you’re traveling alone.
ROAD CONDITIONS & LOCAL LAWS
Try to plan around rainstorms and other weather events and route yourself around traffic jams and road construction. Consider having an alternate route or a back-up plan in case you can’t get where you’re going safely.
When you leave your home state, you should also be aware of local laws. In some states, it’s illegal to pass on the right or make a right on red. Cars with out-of-state license plates are also more susceptible to speeding tickets. A little research can go a long way!
Going on a road trip with your friends or family is not only fun, but it’s also a great way to prioritize safety on the road. Whoever sits next to you can keep you company, and if they stay awake and alert, they can provide you with an extra pair of eyes on the road. This person can also handle all non-driving tasks like controlling the radio and air conditioner, checking on directions, and even responding to texts on your behalf.
If there’s someone in your passenger seat, there’s no excuse to touch your phone.
When your travel companions are licensed drivers, you can also take turns behind the wheel. This ensures that all drivers stay focused and well-rested, so no one drives while they are distracted or fatigued.
No one likes to be in a car for hours on end. Still, you should always prioritize safety over comfort. Keep your seatbelt on at all times, avoid putting your feet on the dash, and don’t recline your seat too much.
Sitting properly in a car could mean the difference between life and death in the event of an accident.
Having your seat adjusted correctly is also important. The driver’s wrist should be able to rest comfortably on the top of the steering wheel and their upper back should touch the seatback. Adjusting the seat and mirrors between drivers might be annoying, but it can keep everyone safer and more comfortable.
Never, ever drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. If you drink heavily at night, you might not be safe to drive until the next afternoon. You can also be impaired after 1 or 2 drinks, depending on your height, weight, and metabolism.
Speaking of timing, you should also exercise caution when driving at night. Behaviors like drunk driving and falling asleep at the wheel are more common when it’s dark out, so you’ll have to be extra sharp. If you’re going out for a party at night, you might want to be as safe as possible and take public transportation instead!
YOU CANNOT PREVENT EVERY ACCIDENT
Even if you take every precaution, the only way to eliminate your risk for accidents and injuries is to stay off the road entirely. You cannot control how other drivers behave, and sadly, one party’s carelessness can lead to an auto accident.
Keep our number handy and call us at 918-492-7674 if you need legal help after an accident.
You can also contact us online when you’re ready to explore your legal options. We offer free consultations and you will not pay any fees unless we win your case.