Labor Day is just around the corner. For many people, Labor Day is a good chance to take a quick road trip before the kids settle back into school. Unfortunately, Labor Day travel also increases the number of fatalities compared to non-holiday weekends. Because family travel is common, it is especially important to take certain safety measures before you hit the road.
Get Some Rest
Drowsy driving can be fatal. In fact, researchers estimate that there are 382,000 traffic accidents that can be attributed to drowsy driving each year. In 2015 alone, there were approximately 5,000 fatal accidents because of drowsy driving.
Do not add to this statistics! Be sure that you get plenty of rest before you hit the road for your Labor Day road trip.
Get A Vehicle Tune-up
Getting a quick tune-up before you hit the road can be a great way to avoid an accident. Simple things like having enough coolant or making sure that your oil levels are satisfactory can prevent serious problems with your vehicle.
The NHTSA recommends that you check your tires, belts, fluids, battery, and air conditioning before your Labor Day road trip. Use a qualified mechanic if you are unsure of how to check these items yourself.
Create An Emergency Kit
While emergency kits are arguably more useful in the winter, it is a good idea to have a fully stocked kit the whole year as well. For summer road trips, you will want to be sure that you have plenty of water available for the entire family in case of a breakdown or other serious problem.
The NHTSA also recommends that your emergency kit include warm blankets, flashlight, jumper cables, flares, tools to change a tire, a fully charged cell phone, and a first aid kit. Be sure to check the functionality of each of these items before you leave the driveway.
Ensure Protection From The Sun and Heat
The heat can become unbearable in some situations, even while in the car. Be sure that you have sun block and sunglasses for the whole family. Sunshades for the backseat will help protect little ones as well. Hats may also be a good idea if you plan to spend a significant time outside on your road trip.
The car gets hot very quickly, so do not leave children or animals in the vehicle without air conditioning. Even when the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, it takes just a few minutes for the interior of the car to reach temperatures that can cause serious damage.
Keep A Close Eye On Vehicle Weight
Packing the car too much can weigh the vehicle down and cause it to malfunction. Also, items that are not secured down can become dangerous in the event of a crash. Keeping heavy things on the floor can prevent them from becoming projectiles in case of a sudden stop. You should also try to batten down suitcases and other luggage as well if they are in open cargo spaces.
From all of us here at Jim Glaser Law—have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!