Did you know that the Eiffel tower is one of the top 10 most visited places in the world? However, due to unfortunate circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have had to tweak their plans. For example, a simple road trip is more cost-effective, responsible, and safer since you don’t have to hop on a plane or sit in a crowded airport.
However, summer road trip safety is of the utmost importance while enjoying your vacation. Therefore, if you wish to learn more about how to avoid an accident and what to do if you get into an accident, continue reading!
How to Avoid Getting into an Auto Accident During a Road Trip
Auto accidents are terrifying — therefore cut down your chance of crashing by staying smart while on the road.
Plan Your Route
People rely heavily on their phone’s built-in GPS feature. However, what if the feature is to glitch? What if your phone is to die? This can ruin the entire trip and can increase your chance of getting into an auto accident since you’ll be panicked the entire time you’re lost. Therefore, keep a map in your car. It may sound old-fashioned, but this is a great backup plan to have.
Don’t Mess With Your Music
What’s a good road trip without some head-bobbing tunes? Music is a vital part of any road trip. But make sure one of the other passengers is in charge of picking and changing the music. The driver should have their eyes on the road at all times, and not on their phone screen.
Don’t Text and Drive
The same goes for texting and driving! This can also land you in a bad accident, so ask another passenger to take complete control of your cell phone.
If you get an important call, pull over and answer it.
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
Having a cleaner car allows you to think straight. Servicing your car often will also prevent malfunctions and increase vehicle performance. Make an appointment before leaving for your road trip.
Plan a Trip to a Familiar Spot
Here’s another way you can implement more summer road trip safety tips!
If you want to go on a road trip, go somewhere familiar! You won’t risk taking a wrong turn, or crashing into another driver since you’ve already driven in the area before.
Keep Kids Strapped Down
Kids can also be a distraction. They won’t just sleep the entire time! Kids can get rowdy and loud, especially during a car trip. Therefore, ensure they are strapped into their car seats during the entire ride. Additionally, make sure they are buckled up. Children under the age of 12 should sit in the back. Babies need to be tucked away in their car seats. Kids between three and six need to be in a booster seat for ultimate summer road trip safety.
Keep at Least One Hand on the Steering Wheel At all Times
Don’t try to drive with your knees. It doesn’t matter if you’re using your hands to eat your lunch on the go. Have one hand on the steering wheel at all times. Losing control of your vehicle is not worth that extra bite of sandwich. If you get into an accident, you’ll likely have to call an auto accident lawyer.
Don’t Tailgate When Driving Down the Highway
Additionally, you don’t want to be the car that rear-ends someone else. One of the best ways to go about this is to avoid tailgating other cars. Ensure you’re using a five-second distance between you and the car in front of you.
Limit Your Nighttime Driving
Driving when you’re half asleep is a hazard to yourself and to others on the road. It’s very similar to driving drunk, as you’re impaired and can’t make quick decisions. Therefore, pull the car over if you need to rest. Additionally, schedule your trip so that you’re stopping by a hotel at night. Ensure you’re well-rested at night. Get a full nine hours of rest before embarking on your adventure.
Keep in mind, a cup of coffee is not a suitable swap for a proper nap or a good night’s rest. Blasting your AC or radio, similarly, may only work for thirty minutes. But you may start to feel fatigued after the allotted time has passed.
Share the Road
When trying to implement more summer road trip safety tips, make sure you are sharing the road with the other drivers. The reason being is that it’s easy to make childish choices when you’re driving. You can have two attitude states when driving behind the wheel — an adult and childish attitude state. When you refuse to share the road with other drivers, this is the child attitude state controlling you. You are more likely to make driving decisions based on anger instead of being patient and courteous. Therefore, make the mental switch to the adult attitude state of mind and share the road. Don’t rush in out in front of other cars.
If you’re going on a road trip, don’t forget this aspect of road trip safety. If you’re feeling fatigued, ask a driver to switch with you. Driving in shifts ensures everyone’s safety, as every driver will get the chance to rest their eyes.
Don’t Eat and Drive
Eating while driving is another way to get distracted, so implement this summer road trip safety trip.
If you’re feeling hungry while driving down the road, park the car and eat! You should also dine in the restaurant. Avoid using one hand to stuff your face, and the other to navigate your way on the road. It can be tempting to order to-go and eat in the car. But this is messy and unsafe.
Look Backwards When Backing Out
If you’re not looking behind while backing out onto the road, another car can slam into you. If you don’t have a backup camera installed into your dash, observe the entire area before putting your car into reverse.
Go the Speed Limit
It’s so easy to get carried away when driving on the open road. However, keep your eye on your speed if you want to implement more summer road trip safety! Go the speed limit. You will also limit your chances of getting pulled over. Speeding down a road you’re unfamiliar with can also increase your chance of getting into an accident.
What to Do When Getting into an Auto Accident
Car accidents will put a dent in your trip. But keep your priorities in check — make sure everyone is okay first. Car accidents can also cause injuries like concussions, broken bones, and then follow these next few steps.
Check Your Surroundings
After making sure that all of your passengers are okay, check the scene around you. If you’re on the road, put your hazards on, and drive towards the side of the road. You’ll need more auto repairs if you get rear-ended by another car immediately after your original accident.
Determine the Damages
After pulling aside and parking your car, get out of the vehicle and access the damage. This is also the prime time to take photos of the accident. Speak with the other driver (or drivers) involved in the accident. Try not to admit fault when speaking about the accident, as this is a liability. It’s a form of fault admission that can land you in hot water. Call emergency towing if your car has been completely totaled. If you want to avoid this nightmarish scene, follow summer road trip safety tips.
After speaking to the other party, making sure the other passengers are okay, and checking your car, call the authorities.
You can call the police, and they will rush to the scene. If you’re in an unknown area, describe the spot to the 9-1-1 operator. You can tell them the street you’re on or list the name of some of the nearby shops. Use the authorities as a valuable tool.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
Aside from simply taking photos, you should also make notes about the details of the accident. What is the license plate? Now’s also the time to collect the other driver’s insurance information. You also need their phone or email, their name, and their address if you crashed from not following summer road trip safety tips.
Get a Police Report
After the authorities show up, make sure to get a police report. You will need this when talking to your insurance provider. It’s also a vital piece of evidence if the other driver wishes to take you to court.
Check the State’s Insurance Laws
Depending on what state you’re driving through during your road trip, the state can have different state insurance laws. For instance, Kansas is a no-fault state. This means that your insurance company will in fact pay for your auto shop repairs. On the flipside, Missouri is a fault state, which means that the driver responsible will have to pay. Either way, you should find an auto accident lawyer.
Call Your Insurance Company
Surveillance video can’t capture everything — so it’s important to make notes while at the scene. After getting all of this information sorted, call your insurance company. If your accident happens in another state, your insurance agent will expedite the process for your benefit.
Get a Rental Car
If you’re in another state, you can’t just take a taxi back home! You have two options when you get into an accident while on a road trip.
You can rent a car and continue on with your trip. You can also rent a car and drive back home. In most cases, insurance will not pay to get your car shipped back to your home state.
What Happens if Your Car is Totaled?
This is the worst-case scenario, but sometimes drivers aren’t so lucky. What do you do if your car is totaled when not following summer road trip safety?
You’ll have to stick around in that area and head to the local junkyard. If your car is left too long in this space, you will accrue fees. The only way you won’t have to pay these fees is if you’re hospitalized.
Call Your Attorney
Once you’re settled back home, call a car accident attorney if you feel like you haven’t been fairly compensated. You can choose a lawyer who lives in the state of the accident, or you can also choose one from your home state. The major determinant factors should be their quality of work.
Cancel Your Plans
If you’ve had to cut your trip short, make sure to cancel any excursions and try to get your money back. For instance, if you planned to tour the Grand Canyon, check to see if you can get the deposit back from the travel company. If you booked a few hotel rooms, cancel these as well.
Summer road trip safety is crucial if you’re driving across the country. However, if you do get into an auto accident, ensure to follow these tips. You can enjoy your trip, as long as you’re taking the proper precautions with summer road trip safety tips. Stay safe, buckle up, and enjoy all of the new sights and sounds!