Summer is finally here and you’re ready for a road trip vacation!
The roads are warm, the sun is shining and there’s no better way to have fun with friends and family than on a road trip. But with this comes the potential for accident risks. If you don’t take precautions, there’s a real danger of falling prey to common driving mistakes or falling victim to a dangerous situation.
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How to avoid road trip accidents.
Road trips are great for the soul. They’re also a great way to bond with family, friends, and co-workers. But if you’re not careful, they can also be dangerous.
In Texas alone, there were more than 3 million crashes in 2015 that resulted in over 1,000 deaths and about 50,000 injuries.
We all know that driving can be dangerous, especially when you are on the road for a long time. The Texas Lawyers at Amaro Law Firm understand that accidents can happen at any time and in any place. With this in mind, we have put together some helpful tips that will help you prevent road trip accidents in Texas:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that one in three fatal crashes involves alcohol use by at least one driver or motorcycle operator. Don’t drink and drive, even if your destination is just down the street or across town.
Always buckle up.
Seat belts save lives, but not everyone wears them as often as they should. You’ll need to buckle up every time you get behind the wheel in Texas — and every time someone else gets into your vehicle — even if you’re parked on the side of the road or pulling into a rest stop or gas station parking lot. Not only is it dangerous for those of us on the road, but it’s also against the law in Texas.
Don’t speed through construction zones.
Construction crews have been known to set up fake speed limit signs, so don’t assume it’s safe to go fast in these areas just because there’s no posted limit on the sign ahead of you! Look for workers who may be flagging down traffic or putting up barrels and cones around their equipment — these are warning signs that something might be amiss ahead!
Don’t tailgate or cut off other drivers because this is one of the most common causes of rear-end collisions on highways with two lanes traveling in opposite directions or on city streets where there isn’t enough room for cars to pass each other safely without someone getting into an accident by following too closely behind another vehicle traveling at similar speeds.
Keep your eyes on the road.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When using your cellphone behind the wheel — whether it’s texting or talking — it can take four seconds before you regain full attention back on the road after taking your eyes off it for just two seconds! The same goes for eating food while driving or interacting with children in the backseat who may need your help with something else besides driving safely down the highway at 80 mph!
Don’t drive while sleepy.
If you’ve been awake for more than 18 hours and you feel drowsy, you should take a break and get some rest. Fatigue is one of the leading causes of accidents, so it’s important to avoid driving while sleepy. If you’re not sure if you’re too tired to drive, pull over somewhere safe and rest for 15 minutes before continuing on your journey.
Obey speed limits.
Speed kills — and it is one of the leading causes of car crashes in America. Always obey speed limits so that you can avoid speeding tickets and keep yourself safe on the road.
Pay attention to road signs.
Can you imagine the shock when you are driving along and all of a sudden, you see a sign that says “Dead End”? Or how about the surprise when you see a sign that says “Bridge Out”? Both of these signs are warning signs that can help prevent accidents.
Pay attention to road signs and do not become distracted by other things while driving. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has put up many warning signs throughout the state to warn drivers of hazards ahead. These warning signs include:
- Curves ahead
- Bridge out
- Dead end ahead
- Road construction ahead
Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
Weather can be unpredictable and cause serious problems for drivers at any time of year. If there’s inclement weather expected along your route, make sure that you’re prepared by having a full tank of gas and supplies such as blankets and bottled water in case of emergencies like flooding or power outages. Always call ahead if possible to check traffic conditions before setting out on a long trip so you know what kind of traffic delays are expected on certain routes. This can help avoid unnecessary delays while also helping keep everyone safe during these dangerous conditions.
Don’t forget to inspect your car.
Before you start your journey, it is essential that you check up on your vehicle. Some things that you should inspect include the tires, brakes, headlights, and windshield wipers. Make sure that all of the tires are inflated correctly, check the oil, and make sure nothing is leaking under the hood. Also, be sure to check all lights, including brake lights and turn signals. If any issues come up, it’s best to fix them before hitting the road. In addition, check if there are any leaks or brake problems as they can cause an accident if they are faulty.
If you are planning a road trip, it is important to be as well prepared as possible. Take the time before your trip to look over this checklist. By anticipating and thinking ahead, you can make sure your trip is both safe and fun!
Credits To Atty. James Amaro
James Amaro founded the Amaro Law Firm in 2005 after leaving his position as an attorney at a defense law firm. Not long after founding the firm, Mr. Amaro was hired to represent many individuals and families who had their lives destroyed by the BP refinery explosion in Texas City, Texas. Since then, James Amaro has successfully represented thousands of people and businesses in various legal matters, including personal injury claims, business disputes, insurance claims, hurricane claims, and commercial litigation.