For many, summer is about freedom on the open road. It’s a carefree time, focused on fun, family and adventures.
What it’s usually not is a time to realize that more time on the road can mean a higher risk of an accident. In the U.S. alone, there are 10 million car accidents every year.
This doesn’t mean that your vacation can’t be all fun and games
— it just takes some planning ahead.
When preparing for a road trip, many people make sure their vehicle is up to date on its maintenance check-up and they may know how to change a tire — but being prepared for a road trip is much more than that.
Today’s drivers must follow a few new tips for successful summer travel and consumer safety, according to Gold Class, which provides industry-recognized training to collision repair shop technicians.
New Road Trip
Solid preparation can mean more successful road trips. Here are a few tips travelers should keep in mind, since the top contributors to vehicle collisions are distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving, and these risks only increase in summer due to more road traffic, construction and new teenage drivers.
* Remember that distractions go beyond your phone. While much of today’s in-vehicle technology is designed to help mitigate vehicle collisions, you have to know its limitations. Don’t forget that the very technology helping keep you safe in your vehicle can also be a distraction: At any given moment, approximately 660,000 people are manipulating electronic devices or using cell phones while driving. Test technology features you don’t typically use before you go, and learn how to best apply new vehicle technology at MyCarDoesWhat.org.
•Don’t just rely on technology. Be aware of dramatic speed shifts that might alert you to changing driving conditions ahead (such as a small town, school zone or dangerous curves). This is even more important when driving in unfamiliar terrain. While navigation systems, adaptive headlights that can “see” around curves and the latest curve speed warning technology can all help, reviewing a map in advance and paying attention to road signage and conditions along the way can be a big help.
•If you’re drinking, know ridesharing options. A drunk driving-related accident occurs every two minutes. Besides friends, consider ridesharing options like Uber and Lyft, which are available throughout the U.S. and even in places where public transportation isn’t as popular. Simply download the apps and schedule your ride beforehand.
•Make an educated decision: Getting into a car accident while traveling can introduce another layer of complexity. Having to make a rushed decision about where to repair your car only adds to a stressful situation. Do your research ahead of time to find shops that have technicians who have received updated, model- and automaker-specific training and the knowledge to properly fix your vehicle.
Don’t play around with your safety: Add these tips to your summer travel preparation checklist to be an educated consumer for your peace of mind.