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How to Stay Safe on your Holiday Road Trip

At the Atlanta personal injury law office of Goldstein & Hayes, we are committed to standing up for the rights and best interests of victims injured in auto accidents. If you or a family member has sustained injuries, please contact our office to speak with an experienced attorney for free today.

Though you have the legal right to recover for your injuries, it is always preferable to not to suffer injuries in the first place. With the holiday season in full swing, many of you are likely planning to pack the car and head out to visit family or friends in other cities or even across the country. Nothing can put a damper on the holidays faster than a serious accident and injuries, so you should always take steps to keep yourself and your family safe on your holiday road trip.

Get a tune-up. Make sure you have a trusted mechanic check all fluid levels, belts, battery, lights, tires, brakes, and more prior to leaving town. A tune-up can help avoid any sudden malfunctions that, while driving at highway speeds, can cause serious collisions.

If you have children, prepare the backseat. Check all car seats and booster seats to see if they are still appropriate for your child’s height and weight. Make sure child locks are activated on all backseat windows and doors that a child may be able to reach. Make sure your children have plenty of entertainment, snacks, and other necessities so that you do not have to constantly take your attention from the road to tend to them in the backseat.

Take frequent rest breaks. Studies have suggested that fatigue can impair driving just as much if not more than drinking alcohol. Drowsiness can cause you to lose focus, slow your reaction time, and even completely doze off behind the wheel. As you can imagine, falling asleep can cause a devastating accident. In order to avoid drowsy driving, you should always take frequent rest and sleep breaks and should never try to rely on caffeine or other energy-inducing products to keep you awake. Additionally, if you have another adult in the car, switch off drivers on a regular basis.

Know your route. Road trips often take us into unfamiliar territory and on many new roadways and highways. Make sure to do your research and familiarize yourself with your route as much as possible before you leave home. If you must travel through mountains or other potentially dangerous terrain, check the weather and make sure all roads will be open and passable.

Have a safety kit. You never know when you may break down, become stranded, or have other troubles on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that you always have an emergency kit that includes fully charged cell phone, water, blankets, first-aid supplies, flares, a flashlight, a spare tire and related tools, and anything else you deem necessary. When you are traveling through certain parts of the country, you may go miles without a highway exit or service station. Though you never want to have use any emergency supplies, you will be glad you have them if you are in an accident or your vehicle breaks down.