5 considerations for traveling safely this summer

Taking just a few measures now could help prevent a car accident or breakdown for South Carolinians traveling this summer.

Summer is a popular time to hit the road, whether you are going to a beach here in South Carolina or making a trip across the country. No matter what the destination is, drivers who take a few simple measures are doing their part not only to ensure their safety, but the safety of others as well.

1. Know distracted driving laws

It should go without saying that taking focus off the road is a bad idea. Not only is it dangerous, but in some places, distracted driving is illegal. For example, here in South Carolina, the law states that no driver is permitted to text while behind the wheel. Some other states have much stricter laws, going so far as to prohibit any handheld device use. It is a good idea to avoid the behavior completely in order to play it safe.

2. Plan ahead

A well-planned trip should account for how long the drive takes and scheduling stops along the way. The National Sleep Foundation states that roughly 168 million people have admitted to driving drowsy in the prior year. That is a scary statistic, given that roughly 100,000 car accidents that are reported to law enforcement every year are linked to driver exhaustion.

It is a good idea to take a break from driving every few hours. Alternatively, when possible, licensed drivers should share the travel responsibility, trading off every 100 miles or so.

3. Have a safety kit in the car

Basic safety kits for a car would include first aid items such as bandages and instant ice packs. Drivers should also consider having the following on hand:

  • Bottled water
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Spare tire and tire jack
  • Extra clothing

These items could be useful in the event that a car breaks down or there is an accident that leaves the driver stranded for an extended period of time.

4. Be aware of driving conditions

Weather-related accidents are common, even in summer months. Pop-up rain showers, thunderstorms and hurricanes create an environment that could be dangerous to people on the road. When a trip is scheduled, looking at weather conditions is a must.

5. Get your car checked

Especially before long road trips, it is a good idea to visit the mechanic to get a tune-up on the car. This could help spot a vehicle defect, low fluids, poor tread on the tires or any other issue that could lead to trouble. Taking just a few hours one afternoon could prevent a breakdown or accident.

It is a sad fact that many people will not take these precautions this summer, causing injurious and even deadly accidents. People who have concerns about this issue should speak with a personal injury attorney in South Carolina.