Millions of Americans drive every day. Whether we’re driving as part of our daily commute or taking a road trip on our summer vacation, it’s important that we stay safe.
Although every driver, vehicle and trip are different, there are some general guidelines you can follow to increase the safety of your vehicle, and in turn, the safety of those around you.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident and suspect you haven’t been treated fairly when making your car accident claim, contact Linville Johnson to learn more about your options. Those affected and their families may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation with the help of a car accident attorney.
We offer free, no obligation consultations, and we can help you determine whether you have a claim. You can contact us by filling out the form on this page, calling us at 501-777-7777, or emailing us at [email protected]
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
Before you hit the road, especially if you are taking a long road trip, it is important that you service your car to prevent breakdowns. When performed at regular intervals, preventative maintenance, such as general tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations and battery checks, can go a long way to extending the life of your vehicle.
In addition to work done by your local mechanic, there are a few basic items you can check on your own, including:
- Tire pressure and wear
- Headlights, brake lights, interior lights, turn signals and emergency flashers
- Cooling system
- Fluid levels (oil, brake, power steering and washer fluids)
- Belts and hoses
- Wiper blades
Even if your vehicle has been serviced and you’ve checked to make sure everything’s in working order, you can still run into problems. Keep your cellphone charged and be prepared for emergencies. It might help to put together a roadside emergency kit, including jumper cables, a flashlight, first aid kit, and any tools you might need to change a flat tire or for simple maintenance work.
Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions
Life is full of distractions, and as drivers, we can especially find ourselves preoccupied with the world around us while on the road. Whether you’re on a long road trip, spending your daily commute stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or even taking a quick trip to the grocery store, there are numerous diversions that can take our attention away from the act of driving.
For longer road trips, consider taking a break to stretch your legs or handle any business you couldn’t while driving. Stay hydrated, get plenty to eat, and sit up if you can. Change drivers, if possible. All drivers should avoid talking on the phone or texting while driving at all times, but some states allow the use of hands-free devices. Be careful if you choose to use yours.
Shorter trips may require a different degree of alertness. Watch for other vehicles, pedestrians and traffic signals. Be mindful of the environment around you at all times and remain calm in stressful situations. It doesn’t help if you get angry, and any “road rage” you might exhibit could impair your ability to drive safely as well.
Give Yourself Ample Time to Get to Your Destination
Be sure you give yourself enough time to reach your destination. This includes checking the weather and any available traffic reports for delays or road closings. Knowing how weather conditions and traffic delays may affect your commute can potentially improve the efficiency of your trip.
Share the Road with Others and Behave in a Responsible Manner
Be considerate of other people and the vehicles around you, including people who aren’t occupying cars or trucks. Although they have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else on the road, it is important that you give motorcycles, bicycles, runners and pedestrians space on the road as well.
Likewise, don’t engage in dangerous or risky behavior while driving, including distracted driving, impaired driving or speeding. In most cities and states in the U.S., texting while driving is against the law, and all states have some type of law regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your negligence could put others at serious risk for injury or even worse.
Overall, act responsibly and treat others with respect. You aren’t the only one on the road, and your actions can have both a positive and negative effect on everyone else.