Thousands of families from Texas are heading away on their summer road trips amid soaring temperatures.
But while a summer vacation can be a highlight of the year, it can also become a nightmare if it ends in a car wreck.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published advice to help you reach your destination safely.
Although the summer road trip can be a fun time there are also dangers. Roads are often more congested, leading to frustration. Recently I highlighted some of the accidents seen during times of congestion in Houston.
You may find more inexperienced teenage drivers on the interstates because school is out for summer and more people have been consuming alcohol. As a Houston car accident injury lawyer, I am concerned about the additional risk of death and injury to drivers.
The message from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is be prepared for all eventualities. “Prevention and planning are much easier than dealing with the consequences of a breakdown, or worse yet, a highway crash,” the federal agency states in a press release.
An important part of that planning exercise is a vehicle safety checklist. Drivers should check.
- Belts and hoses
- Wiper blades
- Cooler systems
- Fluid levels
- Air conditioning
The NHTSA says drivers need to check their tires at least once a month – and that includes the spare tire.
“A tire doesn’t have to be punctured to lose air. All tires naturally lose some air over time. In fact, under-inflation is the leading cause of tire failure,” the release says.
The blow out of a tire at a high speed can be serious and can results in deaths. If a blow out is caused by a faulty tire and you are injured you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you are traveling with children, their safety is vital. Very many parents fail to heed the advice and travel with badly fitted car seats or defective seats that can result in injuries and deaths.
“Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the restraint system best suited to protect them. All children 12 and younger should ride in the back seat,” the NHTSA said.
A certified technician can check your seat is fitted correctly free of charge whether you live in Houston, San Antonio or somewhere else in Texas.
Once you are on the road the NHTSA said you should stop regularly to avoid driver fatigue and avoid distractions such as texting and the temptation to be distracted by kids. Seat belts are also vital on road trips.
“If you’re not buckled up, you could be thrown through a window, sent skidding along the pavement, or be crushed under a vehicle in a crash. Wearing a seat belt is also the best defense against a drunk-driving crash,” states the NHTSA.
You should also avoid alcohol. Even small amounts can prove dangerous. In recent weeks I have highlighted a number of harrowing deaths caused by alcohol.
Every 45 minutes and 32 times a day, somebody in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash.
“Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out,” states the NHTSA.
Drivers should be equipped with an emergency roadside kit that includes a first aid kit, a flashlight, a cell phone, windshield washer fluid and basic repair tools.
Basic protects can’t guarantee you won’t be in a wreck but they will improve your odds of enjoying your summer road trip.
For a free case evaluation by an experienced Car or motorcycle /Houston Auto Accidents attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.