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Posted By Gruenberg Kelly Della || 20-Jun-2017
Summer is here and many people are preparing to take a road trip. As fun as these trips can be, they also can be at risk for accidents or other issues that can be dangerous. A little preparation can go a long way to protect you and your family from problems and can help you get back on the road, should something unexpected occur. Follow these tips to help you get ready for your road trip.

Preparing Your Car

  • Schedule maintenance to occur before your trip, such as a tune-up or oil change.
  • Check your tires, fluids, windshield wipers, brakes, and battery. If you find problems, take your car in for service. You may also ask that your automotive technician checks all these during a checkup.
  • Check your spare tire, and make sure you know how to change a tire. Practice at home, before you’re on the side of the road trying to remember how to change your flat tire.
  • Clean out your car. Take some time to vacuum the seats and carpet and wipe off surfaces in the car. It may seem unimportant, but a clean car will be far more comfortable to spend many hours in.
  • Make sure that your roadside assistance membership is up-to-date and that you have the necessary information with you.

Packing the Car

  • Pay attention to the weight limit of your car. It is posted inside the door frame of the driver’s door. This limit includes passengers, cargo, and fuel.
  • When loading your car, pay attention to the weight distribution. Roof racks and rooftop carriers should only be used to carry light, bulky objects. Placing too much weight on the roof of the car can make the vehicle difficult to handle and can increase the risk of rollovers. Load heavy items towards the bottom of the car.
  • Pack your emergency supplies, spare tire, jack, and tire iron where they are easily accessible. You won’t want to unpack your entire car in the dark to find a flashlight to change your tire. A roadside assistance kit can be an easy way to ensure that you have emergency essentials, such as reflective triangles, a flashlight, rain poncho, jumper cables, and other tools that can help you get back on the road.
  • Learn how to use a first-aid kit and pack a basic one. Include antiseptic wipes, a variety of bandages, tape, sterile gauze and non-stick pads, antibacterial ointment, anti-itch cream, pain relievers, antihistamines, and other necessary supplies.
  • If anyone going on the trip takes medications, pack extra doses. Don’t forget to keep emergency medications, such as inhalers or epinephrine injectors, on hand and easily accessible.
  • Even if the forecast is calling for warm weather, pack coats for everyone on the trip. If you are caught in a storm or have to be outside during a cold night, jackets can help keep everyone comfortable.
  • Pack maps and GPS devices where they can be accessed easily by a passenger. Unless you are stopped, drivers shouldn’t be responsible for handling navigation.
  • Pack plenty of snacks and drinks. Hot weather can dehydrate you easily, even if you aren’t moving around. Water and sports drinks can help keep you hydrated. You also may want to have a variety of snacks on hand, particularly if you have kids coming on the trip. If you get stranded overnight, snacks and water is especially important.
  • If you have children coming with you, be sure to pack what they need to keep them comfortable and occupied. Don’t forget to bring their favorite toys, games, movies, blankets, books, or other items that will help them handle the trip easily.

On the Road

  • Never drive distracted. Ask passengers to handle snacks, music, navigation, or helping children.
  • Stop for gas before you get too low. Getting stranded because you run out of gas can be an uncomfortable situation.
  • Take breaks to get out of the car and stretch. Frequent stops and exercise can help keep you alert while driving.
  • If you become drowsy, trade places with a passenger who is feeling alert. If there isn’t another driver who is able to safely take over, find a place to safely stop for the night.
  • Take your time. Slow down to account for unfamiliar roads, weather, traffic, and more. Give yourself a little extra space between cars. Even if you have taken this trip every year, allow yourself extra time to react. There may have been changes to the road since you last passed through, or there may be new construction happening.
  • Be sure to slow down for poor weather, heavy traffic, or nighttime driving. Under poor driving conditions, it can take longer to react or come to a stop safely, so reduce your speed to help you navigate hazards safely.
  • Never mix alcohol or drugs and driving. A road trip should be fun, but it should also be safe. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents.

At Gruenberg Kelly Della, we hope that your summer road trip is safe and full of opportunities to make precious memories. If you experience an accident on a trip, get in touch with our Long Island personal injury attorneys. Our team offers our clients personalized, knowledgeable legal advocacy. Contact our offices today to request a free case evaluation.