What Are Safety Tips for Long Road Trips?

If you are planning a long road trip, whether for business or pleasure, safety is a priority. Unfortunately, few people seldom ever plan for the worst, especially vacationers. With a relaxing, fun vacation on the mind, preparing for or exercising driving safety protocols is usually last on the list of priorities for most people.

Driving is a serious business, and taking long road trips can test exactly how serious a driver handles the responsibility of safety. There are many dangers that present themselves when taking to the road during an elongated driving excursion. These dangers can range from a poorly maintained vehicle to a sleep-deprived driver.

Every year, over 30,000 people die from motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 38,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the leading cause of death for people up to 54 years old is motor vehicle accidents.  

People spend a good deal of time making plans for their vacation or business trip in order to assure a fruitful or fun time once they arrive at their destination. If the same attention and caution were paid to the trip itself, the chances of experiencing a catastrophe on the road would be reduced, and the trip might become the relaxing trip you hoped it would be.  

How Should You Prepare Your Vehicle for a Long Road Trip?

After your reservations and planned activities are squared away, get busy assuring the safety and comfortability of you and your passengers. Taking a long road trip is difficult enough in terms of boredom, the lack of comfortability, and sheer exhaustion; but not taking the right steps to prepare for a trip could turn an already difficult situation into a nightmare.

The first thing you should do is pay attention to your vehicle. Your vehicle might not actually be old, but that does not mean that it is beyond maintenance. Whether your vehicle is young or old, a long road trip has a way of finding your vehicle’s faults and near-faults, so head off any potential threats and check your vehicle thoroughly.

It is best to take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic before takeoff, but if you want to do it yourself, you should check your vehicle from front to back. Make sure that the brakes feel right while you are driving your vehicle. If the brakes squeal or do not respond correctly, they are not going to improve on a long trip; take your vehicle to a mechanic and get them checked out.

Steering is sometimes overlooked. When the steering feels slightly irregular, some people simply pass it off as the way their particular vehicle drives. An experienced driver knows what good steering should feel like. If the steering is off, there could be a problem.

Tires are critically important. Old, worn tires could cause a blowout, and that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Make sure your tires are in tiptop condition before taking off. You should also check the air pressure on each of your tires to assure that they are balanced, and that they measure up to the specified air pressure according to the manufacturer.

You should always check the fluids, oil, belts, wipers, caps, hoses, and filters. Make sure the signals and lights are in good working order as well. Basically, anything and everything you can think of, check it.  

What Intangibles Should You Address Before Your Trip?

It is important to make sure that you are familiar with the route you are taking. Relying on a GPS can bring too many surprises, and with that can be confusion, frustration, and bad decision-making. Get familiar with which highways and exits you should be taking.

Plan your rest stops. This is important because it will help you to avoid going too long without a needed stop. Knowing where the stops are along the way allows you to stay organized with your fill-ups, bathroom visits, food breaks, and much-needed rest.

Perhaps the most important way to prepare for your trip is to make sure you get sleep. With all the preparations and last-minute packing, it is easy to put off getting rest. Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents.

A recent study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers who miss one to two hours of required sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Sleep deprivation slows down a driver’s reaction to stimuli, having an effect similar to alcohol. This means that your reaction time when lacking sleep is poor.

It is critical that you stay alert, so getting enough sleep before getting behind the wheel is a must. Also, for those fun vacations, do not get ahead of the game: driving under the influence is deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 32 Americans die each day in a drunk driving-related motor vehicle accident. Thus, waiting till you arrive at your fun spot is best.

What Items Should You Bring with You on Your Trip?

Make sure to stay hydrated. Bring plenty of water and other fluids. Also make sure to bring healthy snacks. Store your food and beverages appropriately; some might need to be in a cooler.

Consider any medical needs that you or your passengers might need. This includes any medication or foods that someone might need along the way. Pack sunscreen, sun glasses, and brimmed hats in case you end up stuck on the side of the road and have to abandon your vehicle, or if you decide to stop somewhere along the way and take in some sun.

Keep a spare tire or even two, extra coolant, and a few cans of motor oil. Bring a first-aid kit. Having to find a place that has simple, much-need medical supplies could be extremely difficult. Think things through ahead of time. You do not want to forget to bring baby formula, for instance. Pack some personal hygiene items that you will have easy access to.

It is important to bring a flashlight, road flares, and reflectors. Be prepared for bad weather as well; bring rain gear. Do not forget to bring jumper cables. A good Samaritan might not have a set. It is also a good idea to carry a tool kit for that unexpected mechanical problem.

One of the most important items to check is your cell phone. Make sure it works, and be certain that your service allows for a good range, if not you might want to upgrade. Also bring a working phone charger, and make sure that your vehicle has a working input for the charger. For that overnight stay in your vehicle, bring blankets and pillows; you never know what will happen.

What Should You Pay Attention to While Driving? 

Maintain good posture. This will help you prevent having backaches and will keep the blood flowing. Watch for any drivers who might be driving erratically. Obey the speed limit, and watch out for all road signs. These are things that are in place for a reason and could help keep you safe.

Defensive driving is best. Do not tailgate or swerve in and out of traffic. It is better to get there late than not at all. Most importantly, get off at the nearest stop or rest area if you are tired. If you are struggling to keep your eyes open, or if you are having trouble staying in your lane, it is time to either get off the road or switch drivers.

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Those Involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents.  

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, our experienced Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law will fight hard to bring you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 912-754-6003 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients in Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.

Why Do Car Accidents Increase on Labor Day Weekend?

Labor Day weekend marks the final days of the infamous 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, which starts on Memorial Day weekend. During this time, there is generally a significant spike in car accidents due to a number of factors, including heavy traffic, an increased number of inexperienced teenage drivers on the road, and road construction.

With the travel restrictions lifted, more people are packing up their cars and taking road trips to visit friends and family. However, even the best summer travel plans can be derailed by a serious car accident. By understanding some of the common causes of car accidents, motorists can take proactive steps to avoid serious collisions over Labor Day weekend.

What are Common Causes of Car Accidents on Labor Day Weekend?

Labor Day holiday weekend has a spike in car accidents. According to the Georgia State Patrol, 19 people were fatally injured in car accidents over the 2020 Labor The following are some of the most common causes of car accidents that occur on Labor Day weekend:

  • Increased number of motorists on the road: Traffic is generally higher during the summer, particularly on weekends when people are traveling to and from their vacation destinations. Since Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, many travelers head to the beach, the lake, or other outdoor spots to get the most out of the last few days of summer. However, the increased traffic means that there is an increased risk of being involved in a serious car accident.
  • Drunk driving: The holiday weekend also means that there are parties, barbecues, and family get-togethers where alcohol is served. Too often, people get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, which can have devastating consequences. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause impairments.
  • Distracted driving: Texting and talking on the phone, reaching for something in the back seat, and interacting with other passengers in the vehicles are all examples of distracted driving. On Labor Day weekend, motorists have been known to engage in a range of distracted driving behaviors, including texting, posting a picture on social media, or changing the song selection. Unfortunately, even a few seconds of distracted driving can have serious consequences.
  • Inexperienced drivers: Over the holiday weekend, the number of inexperienced teenage drivers increases dramatically. It is the last weekend of the summer, so young drivers often plan day trips or weekend getaways with friends. However, motorists with limited driving experience are not always able to react quickly to unexpected situations. The lack of experience can increase the risk of a serious accident.

What Steps can I Take to Avoid a Labor Day Car Accident?

Fortunately, there are steps that motorists can do to stay safe while traveling over Labor Day weekend. Motorists are urged to keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Do not drink and drive. Motorists who will be attending parties or events where alcohol will be served should pick a designated driver or arrange for a ride home from a rideshare service.
  • Plan the driving route. Even with navigation systems, it is a good idea to be familiar with the route, particularly for long trips.
  • Allow extra travel time. Motorists are likely to experience heavier than usual traffic, so they should give themselves extra time to reach their destination. This can avoid unnecessary speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and aggressive driving.
  • Avoid distractions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it takes an average of five seconds to send or read a text. If the motorist is driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour, that is comparative to driving the length of an entire football field.
  • Check the weather report. Heavy rain can cause roads to become wet and slippery, which can increase the risk of hydroplaning. Extreme sun glare can also be dangerous, particularly during rush hour. Motorists should keep their windshields, side mirrors, and windows clean at all times, wear polarized sunglasses, and keep their headlights on so other drivers can see the vehicle.
  • Prepare the vehicle. If motorists plan to take a road trip, it is essential that the vehicle is in good working order. That means checking the tires, brakes, lights, the cooling system, wiper fluid, battery, and all off the belts and hoses. Before the scheduled trip, the motorists should have the vehicle inspected by a skilled mechanic to ensure that everything is working properly and that there are no repairs that need to be made.
  • Drive defensively. Even the safest, most responsible driver cannot control how other motorists drive. Motorists should always pay close attention to the road, avoid tailgating, maintain a safe driving speed, and always use their signals properly.
  • Use extra caution when driving near large trucks. When driving near a large commercial truck, be aware of their large blind spots. If the motorist cannot see the truck driver in their mirror, the truck driver cannot see the car. Never cut in front of a large truck; this can cause a devastating rear-end accident since trucks require significantly more road space to slow down. In addition, motorists should not tailgate a large truck. If the truck driver brakes suddenly, the following car could crash into the rear of the truck. 

What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident Over Labor Day Weekend?

If a motorist is injured in a car accident over the Labor Day weekend, they may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. A successful claim will ensure that the injured victim receives financial compensation for the property damage and injuries caused by the accident.

When filing a personal injury claim in Georgia, the claim must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If the accident resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If a claim is filed after the deadline has passed, it will likely be denied and the case dismissed.

How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Georgia?

Comparative negligence is a legal theory used when more than one party may be partially at fault for causing an accident. If someone files a lawsuit against another driver, they may recover financial damages from the at-fault party. However, the amount of damages will be reduced by the percentage that corresponds to their shared liability. For example, if a motorist is driving 40 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone and is hit by another driver who was texting, the driver who was hit will be eligible for financial compensation. However, since the driver who was hit was exceeding the speed limit at the time of the accident, the jury or an adjuster may determine that the at-fault driver was 80 percent responsible, and the injured motorist was 20 percent responsible. It is important to note that Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule states that if the injured party is 50 percent or more at fault, they will not be able to recover any damages.

Contact the Kicklighter Law team at 912-754-6003 
to schedule a free consultation!

Effingham County Car Accidents Laywers At Kicklighter Law, Represent Clients Injured in Labor Day Accidents

If you were seriously injured in a car accident over the Labor Day holiday weekend, do not hesitate to contact our Effingham County car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We will determine who is responsible for the accident. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we proudly serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

Why are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer So Dangerous?

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer season, when people take full advantage of the warmer weather to head to the beach, pool parties, or backyard barbecues. Unfortunately, it also marks the beginning of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, which run from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During this time, there is a significant increase in car accidents, particularly those that involve inexperienced teen drivers. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, each year during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, there is a 15 percent increase in the number of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers. All motorists, including teen drivers or experienced motorists who are taking to the road for a family vacation, are urged to use extra caution, follow the rules of the road, and make safety a priority when traveling during the summer months.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a 24-year study of car accidents that occurred during the summertime. They found the following results:

  • Close to 30 percent more people are fatally injured in car accidents during the summer compared with accidents that occur during the winter.
  • The majority of summertime car accidents involve teen drivers.
  • An average of 260 teens are fatally injured in car accidents during the Deadliest Days of Summer in the United States. This is a 26 percent increase compared with the other three seasons.
  • Each year, car accidents that occur during the summer cause billions of dollars in damage.

What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents During the Summer?

There are a number of reasons why there is a significant increase in car accidents during the summer. Many accidents are preventable if motorists are aware of these risks and use extra caution when traveling. The following are examples of some of the most common causes of summertime car accidents:

  • More teen drivers on the road. Summer break means that teens are done with school for the summer. It also means that there are more inexperienced teen drivers on the roads. According to some studies, teen drivers spend close to 45 percent more time driving during the week over the summer compared with during the school year. Their overall lack of experience behind the wheel, including knowing how to safely navigate heavy traffic, how to react to inclement weather conditions, and what to do if there is a detour because of road construction,  increases the risk of accidents. Teen drivers are also much more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior, including talking on the phone, texting, and checking social media.
  • Vehicle failure associated with extreme heat. It is very important that motorists make sure that their vehicle has been properly maintained and that it is ready for the hot weather. The rise in temperature can have a particularly significant impact on the vehicle’s tires. The air inside the tire expands during the heat. If the tire tread is worn and the tire expands, there is a risk of a tire blowout, which can be extremely dangerous if it occurs on a busy highway. The heat can also affect the battery, so it is important that the motorist makes sure that it is charged and attached securely. Other maintenance issues that should be checked include the brakes, fluids, lights, and windshield wipers.
  • Increase in road construction projects. Construction crews tend to complete the majority of their road work projects during the summer when the weather is warmer. However, this means that there may be an increase in road closures, detours, and shifting lanes. This causes traffic congestion, particularly during rush hour or during the weekends. Inexperienced drivers can easily become confused about how to navigate the changing road conditions. This can result in an increase in rear-end accidents.
  • Increase in the number of drunk drivers. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day are three out of the top four holidays that have an increase in car accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve motorists who were intoxicated at the time of the accident. Alcohol is often served at summer gatherings, but if a motorist is driving, he or she must avoid drinking or arrange for a safe ride home.
  • Distracted driving. Teen drivers may be more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior, but they are not the only motorists who make phone calls or check text messages while driving. Regardless of who is driving, it is crucial that motorists avoid all distractions when they are behind the wheel. The phone should be put away so the driver can keep his or her attention focused on the road.
  • Drowsy driving. Too much time outside in the extreme heat can cause motorists to become very drowsy. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, particularly if the motorist has been awake for 18 consecutive hours or more. If a motorist starts to experience symptoms of drowsiness, including yawning, constant blinking, trouble concentrating, and nodding off, he or she should avoid driving.
  • Inclement weather. The warm sunny days are what people love about summer, but extreme weather conditions can also occur during the summer, including severe thunderstorms, high winds, and extreme sun glare. All of these conditions can make driving conditions hazardous, particularly for teen drivers who are not used to driving when weather conditions are poor.
  • More motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on the road. When the weather is warm, more people enjoy doing things outside, including going for a bike ride, taking a walk, and hitting the open road on their motorcycle. Unfortunately, when a car accident occurs, the motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian often suffers catastrophic injuries because there is nothing protecting them from the force of the impact. Motorists are urged to use extra caution when sharing the roads with pedestrians, or people on bikes or motorcycles.

How can I Prevent a Car Accident During the Summer Months?

When traveling during the summer, motorists can avoid a serious car accident by keeping the following safety tips in mind at all times:

  • Leave plenty of space between vehicles. Regardless of the traffic conditions or weather conditions, motorists should leave plenty of room between their vehicle and the vehicle he or she is following. That way, if the other car stops suddenly, the following motorist will have enough time to slow down or come to a complete stop without hitting the other car. Tailgating, or traveling too close to a vehicle, is considered reckless driving and can result in a rear-end accident.
  • Share driving responsibilities. When taking long road trips, motorists should plan on sharing the driving duties so that one driver does not become too tired from hour after hour of driving. When switching drivers, motorists should take a quick break and get some fresh air before getting back on the road.
  • Do not drive while impaired. It goes without saying that motorists should not drink and drive. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause impairments. When attending a party or event where alcohol will be served, motorists should arrange for a designated driver ahead of time or call a ridesharing service.
  • Use extra caution. Overall, motorists are urged to make safety a priority and use extra caution when traveling during the summer. Weekends are particularly dangerous because of the increased traffic and the number of motorists who are likely to be drinking and driving. Motorists must pay attention to the road and the other motorists in the vicinity, obey the rules of the road, and avoid driving if the weather is poor. Parents are urged to have regular discussions about road safety with their teen drivers and demonstrate the behavior they expect from their child. That means putting the phone away, following the speed limit, and avoiding any unsafe or irresponsible behavior while behind the wheel.

What Should I Include in an Emergency Kit?

Even the most experienced and responsible driver can be in a car accident or get into a situation in which his or her car breaks down. When this happens, having a well-stocked emergency kit in the car can be extremely helpful and keep the driver and passengers safe until help arrives. The following items should be included in an emergency kit:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Extra blankets and towels
  • Change of clothing
  • Cell phone charger
  • Plenty of bottled water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Extra medications
  • First aid kit
  • Basic tool kit

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Advocate for Victims of Summertime Car Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident during the summer months, it is in your best interest to contact the Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law as soon as possible. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of the accident, determine who is responsible for your injuries, and assist you with every step of the claims process. Our dedicated legal team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve and will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we proudly serve clients in Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.

Call Us: 912-754-6003

412 North Laurel Street
Springfield, GA 31329

Telephone: 912-754-6003
Fax: 912-754-6336

Email: [email protected]


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