Summer is right around the corner, and that means more people on the roads as some locals head out on a summer vacation road trip while other travelers make their way to South Carolina for a holiday. As you head out on that summer vacation road trip, make sure you check your vehicle and drive safely to reduce the risk of injury to yourself and family as well as to others on the road.
Here are some helpful vehicle safety tips to consider before you get on the road this summer:
Get a Routine Check Up
Routine car maintenance is an important place to start. Preventative maintenance can help reduce the risk of your vehicle breaking down and causing a collision on the highway. Start with the basics like a battery check, tire rotation, oil change, etc. Check your fluid levels, air conditioning, wiper blades, and lights.
Store an Emergency Roadside Kit
Even if you get proper maintenance on your vehicle, it can still break down. Having an emergency roadside kit can definitely come in handy. A good kit should have jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and extra batteries, water, blankets, first aid kit, and consider a cheap cell phone and charger.
Rental Cars and Vans
If you’re renting a car this summer, be sure you are comfortable driving it and verify that your insurance covers you for damages to the rental vehicle as well as liability (damage to any vehicles or property you hit). If you happen to be renting a 15-passenger van or other large vehicle, be sure to familiarize yourself with the operating and handling requirements. These vans handle very different than a standard vehicle and can cause serious injuries in an accident.
The arrival of warmer weather is accompanied by a wider variety of roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Always keep a safe distance and be extra alert for pedestrians or other motorists who may be in your blind spot. Don’t drive for long stretches without frequent breaks and switching drivers if possible. Limit in-car distractions as well. Things like eating, drinking, cell phone use, texting, and vehicle navigation systems can distract your attention away from the road.
Protect Your Passengers and Follow All Laws
Keep your passengers safe with seatbelts and car seats, if applicable. Observe local laws where you are driving, and remember to move over and slow down if you see law enforcement or emergency personnel assisting a motorist on the road. If you’re traveling to other states, look up local laws on traffic and parking, and ensure you follow all speed limits so you don’t wind up with a speeding ticket as a souvenir from your summer vacation.
If the unfortunate happens and you get into an accident this summer, please contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm and let a skilled South Carolina car accident attorney determine whether you have a claim against the other party for damages and injuries. Contact us on our website or call our office at 803-599-3080 to schedule a consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.