Summer Driving & Road Trip Tips

June 8, 2022

Summer Driving & Road Trip Tips

The summer season means many of us will be out driving and hitting the road for vacation. Before you set off for a road trip, here are some tips to keep in mind to keep yourself and those driving with you safe this summer. 

Check Your Vehicle Before Setting Off

Prior to any long road trip in the summer, you should thoroughly inspect your vehicle for any potential maintenance issues that should be addressed. Failure to make sure your vehicle is in good working order can lead to mechanical issues while on the road, especially in the hot weather of the summer. 

Your checklist should include:

  • Engine belts and hoses, checking to see if the rubber shows any signs of damage or wear and tear, including cracking, tears, or blistering
  • Tires, including ensuring that the tires are inflated to the recommended summer pressure and checking to make sure the tire has sufficient tread and does not have any signs of damage, and seeing if tread wear is uneven (which indicates the need for a rotation or alignment)
  • Fluid levels, including coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine oil, and wiper fluid, and making sure that no fluids are leaking from their reservoirs or from hoses
  • Battery, including ensuring that the battery still holds a proper charge
  • Lights, making sure that headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are still functioning
  • Wiper blades, replacing the blades if they have signs of wear and tear

Never Leave Children and Pets Unattended in Vehicles

During the summer, you should never leave children and pets unattended in a vehicle, even if you leave the windows cracked open. In direct sunlight, vehicles can heat up quickly even when temperatures are in the 70s. In addition, young children and animals overheat more rapidly than adults. 

Use Seat Belts and Car Seats

You and your passengers should always be secured by seat belts and car seats. Make sure that younger passengers are in age/size-appropriate car seats or booster seats. Children under the age of 13 should always ride in the back seat.

Stock Your Vehicle

No matter how well you maintain your vehicle, a breakdown is always a possibility on a long road trip. You should make sure that you have an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes:

  • A cell phone and portable charger
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight/lantern
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Jack & spare tire or a tire repair kit
  • Work gloves
  • Basic repair tools and duct table
  • Bottled water and extra prescription medicine
  • Emergency blankets and towels

Plan Ahead

Before hitting the road, you should always plan your route and check the weather and traffic conditions. Familiarize yourself with the directions you plan to follow, including alternate routes you might take if you encounter heavy traffic. Leave early to ensure that you give yourself enough time to get to your destination, and let others know your planned route(s) and expected arrival times. 

Avoid Dangerous Driving Behaviors

Finally, avoid potentially dangerous driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, drowsy/fatigued driving, and reckless driving. Make sure to stop regularly to stretch and get some food and water. If you are traveling with other licensed individuals, consider sharing driving duties to avoid fatigue. 

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.