With the Memorial Day holiday just around the corner, families are planning vacations and road trips for the three-day weekend. Undoubtedly, roadways and interstates will become busier and out-of-state drivers may find themselves in peril when navigating unfamiliar streets. Traffic jams and disabled vehicles are likely to pop up on the route to your vacation destination, and auto accidents are a guaranteed occurrence. Here are a few travel safety tips to keep in mind this Memorial Day.
- Prep the vehicle. Before you venture out on a long road trip, make sure your car can handle it! Have your car inspected to ensure all lights, brakes, windshield wipers, and electrical equipment are working, and change the tires, oil, and air filter if needed. Do not attempt to travel if your “Check Engine” light is on or tire pressure is low. See an auto mechanic if necessary. Finally, make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas and all fluids are topped off before your trip.
- Plan ahead! Whether you have driven to the beach a thousand times, or this is your first vacation road trip, it is a good idea to map out your journey and find at least one other alternate route to your destination. This allows some flexibility in your travels and gives you options in the event of a traffic jam or closed road. Travel with a GPS or have a passenger carry a map in case you get lost. Do not attempt to find a new route while in motion ; pull over or find a rest stop to regroup and reroute.
- Follow all traffic signs and buckle your seatbelt. To minimize the chances for getting into an auto accident, be aware of all road signs and traffic signals along your way. Speed limits often change as you cross city or state lines, so keep an eye out and reduce your speed when necessary. Ensure everyone in the vehicle has their seatbelt buckled while the car is in motion.
- Drive defensively. In a perfect world, everyone on the road would obey all traffic laws and drive safely and courteously. However, in the real world, people have different methods of maneuvering through traffic, and may not keep the safety of others in mind when traveling down the interstate. Keep an eye out for seemingly distracted or aggressive drivers and always have an “out” if you find yourself in a particularly dangerous situation. Keep a safe distance from the vehicles around you and change lanes or pull over to avoid speed demons and other reckless drivers.
- Avoid the busiest days and times for travel. If you can help it, start out early and leave before the holiday rush hits. Friday afternoon will be the busiest time for Memorial Day weekend travelers, and they are expected to return late Monday afternoon. Try to have the car packed and ready to go at least an hour before you want to hit the road to allow time for any last-minute emergencies, and plan to leave before 4:00 PM Friday afternoon. On your return trip, you should be on the road no later than 3:00 PM the following Monday if you want to avoid post-holiday traffic.
If you take all the necessary precautions when traveling for Memorial Day weekend, you can expect a much safer journey to your vacation destination. However, no one can predict when or how an accident can occur, even if you are following all the rules. If you are injured in an accident while traveling or on vacation in South Carolina, contact the experienced attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. They can help you get the compensation you deserve.