Five Tips for Driving Safely on a Road Trip

There may be no better way to see the states than to hop in a car and hit the road. When you are planning your next big trip, whether you are heading one state over or across the country, it is important to stay safe. You never know what you may find out on the open road. Below our blog discusses five tips for road trips to help you arrive at your destination safely.

  1. Inspect your vehicle: Before a long trip, as well as at regular intervals on the road, be sure to check your car for any signs of wear. Are your wheels going bald? Do you remember the last time your car had an oil change? It is a lot better to discover potential issues during preparations than when you are 100 miles outside of the nearest town. It is also a good idea to make sure your fluid levels are topped off and you have jumper cables ready to go.
  2. Make frequent stops: Visiting roadside attractions, finding local eateries, and seeing the sites along the way can break up a long trip into manageable pieces, giving you a chance to recharge. Additionally, it will give everyone a chance to visit the bathroom. While difficult to quantify, many studies have ranked the need to pee alongside dangers such as driving while tired and low levels of intoxication.
  3. Stay off your cellphone: Road trips often include at least one long stretch of straight open road which can be frustratingly monotonous. When passengers run out of conversation topics, it can be tempting to pick up the phone, or any other number of distractions. However, it only takes a moment for an accident to occur and it is vital to always pay attention to the road. If you absolutely need to make a phone call, be sure to pull off the road and stop in a safe location.
  4. Watch your speed: In areas with no other cars and few landmarks, your speed can quickly get away from you. If you’re not paying attention, you may find yourself traveling well over the speed limit. Additionally, traffic and speeding laws can differ significantly from state to state. Being aware of changing traffic laws can help to prevent you from getting a ticket, keeping more money in your pocket to spend on your trip.
  5. Do not drive while tired: One of the leading causes of car accidents, along with alcohol and inexperience, is fatigued driving. During a long road trip, the desire to reach your destination can provide dangerous motivation to continue on, even after your ability to focus has faded. If you feel tired, switch drivers. If you are alone, find a safe place to pull over and be sure to rest before continuing.

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While following these tips can go a long way in decreasing the chances of an accident, it may be impossible to completely eliminate the risk while on the road. Even for motorists who take every precaution, a negligent driver may simply be coming too fast to allow any time to react. If you or a loved one has been injured while out on the road, contact Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci today. Our Joplin car accident attorneys have more than 140 years of combined experience and have been recognized by numerous legal organizations such as Martindale-Hubbell®, Super Lawyers®, and Best Lawyers in America®.

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