Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Jun 21, 2017 in Auto Accidents
Summer has officially arrived. For many Texans, this marks the start of travel season, and many will choose to drive to their destinations instead of flying. Unfortunately, this increases traffic and the potential for car accidents on our state's roads.
The Fort Worth car accident injury attorneys of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings want to help you stay safe on the roads this summer and avoid accidents.
Following the driving safety tips below will help reduce the risk of a crash. However, if an accident occurs, we may be able to help you secure the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
1. Plan Your Trip Before Leaving
Take time to plan your trip and route before you leave for a road trip or summer vacation. By studying your route, you will have a better understanding of the hazards and road conditions you will face. You will also be able to identify delays, such as construction or high traffic areas, and plan alternate routes or allot additional driving time.
Avoiding dangerous road conditions or simply being prepared for them can go a long way toward reducing your risk of a crash.
You should also check the weather before you leave so you will know what to expect while driving. A sudden storm or other inclement weather can be nerve wracking for a driver. Knowing the forecast will keep you from being surprised, allowing you to stay focused on the road.
2. Check Your Vehicle Before a Trip
Keep your vehicle safe by performing proper maintenance throughout the year. You should also carefully inspect your vehicle prior to departing on road trips, including:
- Checking tire pressure and tread wear on all four tires as well as your spare
- Replacing worn out windshield wiper blades
- Making sure fluid levels are sufficient, including oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washing fluid
- Having your car serviced if there are any leaks
- Inspecting your cooling system for proper function, as it can be dangerous to travel in the summer heat without relief
- Making sure headlights, turn signals and brake lights are functioning properly
- Verifying that lights and other equipment are functioning properly if you are towing a camper, boat or trailer
3. Plan for Emergencies
Pack your vehicle with an emergency kit in case you break down or are stranded on your trip. Your kit should include:
- Cellphone with charger (consider a solar charger in case you are unable to charge the phone in your vehicle)
- First aid supplies
- Jumper cables
- Duct tape
- Basic tool kit
- Car jack
- Non-perishable snack foods
4. Ensure Everyone is Properly Restrained
One in seven adults do not wear their seat belt when driving or riding in a car, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is unfortunate because seat belts can save lives in a crash.
Make sure that you and everyone else in the car has their seat belt securely fastened before you start driving. This is not just a smart idea, it is the law, according to Section 545.413(a) of the Texas Transportation Code.
Children under eight years old who are shorter than four feet nine inches in height must be secured in a child passenger safety system, according to Section 545.412. The seat should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
5. Keep Your Focus on the Road
Focusing on the road and other drivers allows you to best foresee hazards and avoid them safely. In today’s world, many distractions exist that pull a driver’s attention from the road.
Follow these tips to avoid distracted driving:
- Do not use cell phones for texting or talking while driving. Pull over if you must make a call or send a text. Texting and driving becomes illegal across the state on Sept. 1, as the new texting and driving ban takes effect.
- Program your GPS system prior to departure.
- Do not drive drowsy, as fatigue can limit focus and delay reaction times. Split driving duties with another driver, or stop to take a nap if needed. Plan to take breaks on long trips to keep yourself alert.
- Do not eat while driving. Go to a restaurant or rest stop.
Contact Our Fort Worth Attorneys Today
Even when you aim to drive safely, summer car accidents can happen. The injuries that result can be painful, debilitating and leave you with massive medical bills.
A personal injury attorney in Fort Worth from Stephens, Anderson & Cummings work to secure the compensation victims deserve for the damages they have suffered.
We encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your personal injury case. We work on contingency, so you do not pay legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.