Summer is upon us! It’s the time of the year when we set up our barbecues, try on our swim suits, and plan road trips with our friends and family. When we’re preparing for a road trip it’s important to consider driving safety.
Here on the Gulf Coast, the beginning of summer also marks the beginning of Hurricane Season. In the event of an evacuation, it’s a good idea to follow these safe driving tips from the New Orleans auto accident lawyers at The Lambert Firm.
Safe Conditions for Driving
Before hitting the road make sure your car is in good travel condition. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides an excellent list for safeguarding your vehicle for travel:
- Tires: Check the air pressure in your tires, including your spare. Also check the tread on your tires for balding or unevenness.
- Belts/Hoses: Look under the hood of your vehicle and check that all belts and hoses are okay and show “no signs of blisters, cracks, or cuts.”
- Cooling System: Check your coolant level. Having plenty of coolant will help to prevent your engine from overheating in the warmer temperatures this season.
- Fluid levels: Check your vehicle’s oil, brake, transmission, power steering, coolant, and windshield washer fluids. Most dealerships with service centers will do a check for these fluids whenever you bring your car in for service.
- Lights: be sure your brake lights, tail lights, emergency lights and head lights are all in working order.
- Air Conditioning: The summer months mean hot temperatures, especially here in the south, check that your A/C is working. This is important if you’re traveling with a passenger that is sensitive to higher temperatures, like young children and babies.
- Include an emergency kit in your car that includes a first aid kit, flashlight, and a blanket.
For Young Passengers
If you are traveling with little ones this summer, make sure that you follow the the NHTSA’s safety recommendations and that you are using the appropriate car seat for your child. Check that your car seat is properly installed. For help installing your car seat properly, you can visit safercar.gov to find a station near you.
It is important to note that you should never leave your child alone in a hot vehicle. The inside temperatures of a car can rise to fatal levels in minutes, even with the windows vented.
Also, when traveling with little ones, be sure you plan plenty of stops for breathers, leg stretches, and restroom breaks. These short stops can help reduce the chances of driver fatigue and reduce the grouchiness of youngsters.
It’s Not Just You on the Road
Keep in mind this season that the warm sunny weather also attracts bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Keep a look out for these and share the road.
Motorcycles need more space behind them because they are lighter and can stop in shorter distances than a car. Make sure you leave enough space between you and the motorcycle ahead of you to avoid a collision. Because they are also smaller than a car, it can be difficult to judge the speed of a motorcycle, so be cautious while sharing the road.
Please Keep in Mind
School is out for summer, which leads to more teen drivers on the road. As Esurance puts it, teen drivers have a lack of experience that can lead to questionable judgment on the road.
The warm weather also means increases in road construction. Be sure to mind the speed limits in work zones and keep an eye out for road workers and equipment.
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident this season, the New Orleans personal injury attorneys at The Lambert Firm, PLC are here to help you. To speak with a car accident attorney, call us toll free at 1-800-521-1750.