How to Avoid a Car Accident This Labor Day Weekend

Planning a Labor Day road trip with your family? Here are 5 essential travel tips to ensure you stay safe on your last summer adventure!

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Remember not to get distracted by music, arguing kids in the backseat, or technological devices like your smart phone. Pay attention to the road to protect yourself and your family from a car accident.

Summer is prime time for motorcycle rides, so keep an eye out for motorcyclists and make sure you follow them at a safe distance. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2014. Stay alert to avoid danger.

Map Out Your Route

We all know that navigating to a new destination can be stressful. Research the route you’re planning on taking before you get in the car so that your focus is on the road, not your smartphone or GPS. The more prepared you are for your trip, the less likely you’ll be to take a wrong turn or make an unsafe driving maneuver.

If you need directions, pull over before referencing a map or taking a closer look at your directions. It’s safer (and less nerve-wracking!) to keep your attention on one action at a time—either driving or navigating.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Tip-Top Shape

Take your car in for a tune up before your road trip and schedule an oil change, if needed. The NHTSA suggests getting your tires, battery, fluids, air conditioner, and belts checked by a qualified mechanic routinely.

If you think something might be wrong with your vehicle—maybe you’ve been overlooking a strange sound because it comes and goes—now’s the time to get it checked out. You’ll feel much more prepared for the trip knowing that you can rely on your car.

Prepare Your Car for Your Kids

You and your family will be spending plenty of time in your car during this road trip, so make sure it is a safe place for your children.  Double check that the child safety locks are activated on the windows and doors in the backseat. Clear away choking hazards like loose change or tiny toy parts and remove dangerous substances like cleaning supplies, anti-freeze, or washer fluid from their reach.
Schedule a free safety check for your car or booster seat by calling 866-SEAT-CHECK. They can set you up with a safety seat inspection at a nearby location to ensure that your car seat is properly installed.

Pack an Emergency Kit

It’s important to gear up before your trip in case of unexpected events. The NHTSA recommends packing the following items for your travels:

– Water
– Flashlights
– Flares
– Jumper cables
– Warm blankets
– Tools to change a tire
– A fully charged cell phone
– A first-aid kit

We encourage you to consider other items like healthy snacks for drives through unpopulated areas and games to keep your children entertained. Other key items are sunscreen and hats to prevent your family from getting sunburned through the windows of your vehicle. Don’t forget a car charger for your phone or GPS, especially if you will be relying on either for directions.

Make a list, pack up, and double-check you aren’t forgetting anything. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

Robert WhiteHow to Avoid a Car Accident This Labor Day Weekend

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