With the weather warming up and summer on the way, you may be looking forward to getting out of the house and finding some adventures. Maybe you have a family trip to the beach planned or you’re making plans for a road trip with friends. You might just want to cruise around your town, enjoying being out in the world after a year of quarantine.
These summer trips can be fun, but they can also put you at more risk of a car accident. Read on to discover some safety tips for avoiding car accidents and keeping the fun going all summer long.
1. Maintain Your Car
One of the best ways you can prevent car accidents from happening this summer is to make sure your car is well-maintained. Delaying an oil change could leave you stranded on the side of the road, where you’re more likely to get hit by another car. Worn tires may fail to grip the road and stop your car if you have to slam on the brakes.
Make sure you get your oil changed on schedule; you should aim to get it changed every three months or 5,000 miles. While you’re getting your oil changed, also get your other fluids, including your brake and power steering fluid, checked. And before any road trips, check your tire tread, replace any worn tires, and be sure all your tires are inflated to the proper pressure.
2. Focus on the Road
When you’re on a road trip with your friends, there’s likely to be a lot going on in the car. You may have the radio on, and you and your friends will probably be chatting and laughing along the way. You might have snacks that you’re munching on along the way, or you might want to answer that text from the friend who got stuck at home with work.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents and can lead to devastating results. When you’re behind the wheel, make sure you’re focusing all of your attention on the road. Turn the music down if you need to, avoid texting or eating, and swap off with friends so you can take turns chatting and enjoying the drive.
3. Dress Light
It may sound strange to say that dressing in light clothing could help you avoid a car accident. But in the summer, when the weather warms up, our cars become cozy little warming boxes. The warmer temperatures can lull us to sleep, which can lead to drowsy driving at best or may even cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel.
When you’re getting ready for a road trip, pick light, comfortable clothes with a lot of breathability. If you know you’ll be in the car with other people, pack some blankets and jackets in case someone gets cold. If you feel yourself getting drowsy, pull off somewhere safe and get some caffeine, do some light exercises, or take a nap.
4. Wear Solid Shoes
While light summer clothes can help to keep you safe on the road, light summer shoes may not. Flip flops and sandals are cool and breathable in the summer, but they are not safe for driving. If you have to switch pedals quickly, your shoes could get caught in the pedals or floor mats and impede your ability to react in time.
Instead, opt for solid, close-toed shoes when you drive, and try to avoid driving in heels. If you have to wear sandals, look for styles that have a strap around the back of your heel to hold the shoe in place on your foot. You can also carry your sandals or flip flops in your car, wear more sturdy shoes to drive, and change when you get to your destination.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
During summer vacation, many of us like to stay up late and enjoy the longer hours of daylight. You may be celebrating with friends and family, entertaining neighbors, or having a drink out on the town. All of this may mean you get to bed later, cutting back on the amount of sleep you usually get.
Nodding off at your desk after a fun night with friends is one thing, but driving sleepy is incredibly dangerous. Studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, if not more so. In fact, driving after you’ve been awake for eighteen hours is the same as driving with a BAC of 0.05 percent.
6. Never, Ever Drink and Drive
On the subject of drunk driving, never, ever drink and drive. This is something we all know is a bad thing, but sometimes you may be tempted to get behind the wheel after a night out. Dealing with the hassle of finding a ride may be inconvenient, but it’s far better than harming yourself or someone else on the road.
Make plans before you go out for how you’ll get home, including choosing a designated driver or a friend you can call at the end of the night to pick you up. If you live in a city or a large town, call an Uber, Lyft, or cab to come pick you up and take you home. Some cities even have free cab services for people who have been drinking, so check if your area offers those options.
Find Tips for Avoiding Car Accidents
Summer is the perfect time for road trips, new adventures, and spontaneous trips with people you love. You don’t want to ruin that fun with a car accident, so make sure you take some basic safety precautions. Keep your car in good shape, dress light, focus on the road, and never, ever drive drunk or drowsy.
If you’d like to find more tips for avoiding car accidents, check out the rest of our site at Sweet Lawyers. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who will be there with you every step of the way. Contact us today and discover why we’ve been named “Best Attorneys of America.”