In Colorado, July is a popular time for summer travel. The kids are out of school and it's a great season to use your vacation time from work. Many families hit the open road, and our state is an excellent starting point. Many of the country's most famous landmarks are within a 6-12 hour drive from here, including Mount Rushmore, the Four Corners region, and an array of national parks and monuments.
You want to see the sights while keeping your family safe on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the summer and early fall are the most dangerous times of year on America's roadways. More people are out driving, for longer hours, and alcohol use increases as well.
While you cannot eliminate the risk of a car accident, you can certainly take steps to reduce your risk:
- Check for recalls before leaving. Vehicle recalls have decreased since 2016, but there are still many vehicles with unrepaired recalls. It's important to get the problem fixed if it applies to your car. To check for recalls, enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) here: www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.
- Perform recommended maintenance or tune ups. Routine and regular maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer are important to keeping your vehicle in good working order. Additionally, in the week or two before your trip, be sure to check the tire pressure, check all the fluids, get an oil change if it's due, check your lights and the wiper blades.
- Equip vehicle with basic emergency items. It's always a good idea to prepare for an emergency, such as a breakdown or delay. Pack a basic first aid kit, a couple gallons of water, high-calorie energy bars/snacks and jumper cables. You should also make sure you have everything you need to change a tire and that the spare tire is properly inflated.
- Don't drive distracted. Texting, arguing, trying to break up a skirmish between your kids – these things take your hands and eyes away from the task of driving. Be sure to stay focused on the road and ask your passengers for help with navigation.
- Take breaks and get a full night's rest. As you plan your itinerary, be sure to include places to pull over and get out of the car. Stretch and let your eyes relax for a while. Don't plan to drive into the nighttime hours. It's important to get good sleep to be alert and focused while you drive.
These are just several suggestions. You can also visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more tips.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident because of someone else's negligence, please call the law firm of Chris Jeffress in Boulder, Colorado, at 303-993-8685, for a free case review. Mr. Jeffress has helped numerous accident victims recover compensation for injuries suffered through no fault of their own.