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Five Dangers to Avoid During Your Summer Road Trip

Summer is prime time for vacations and road trips that open you to great adventure. The warmth, freedom, and long summer days make it perfect for exploring new places and making memories with loved ones. But before you pack your bags and get behind the wheel, you should be mindful of any risks that may come up along your journey.

Common Dangers Vacationers Might Encounter on Summer Road Trips

A Flat Tire or Blowout

Debris on the road and worn tires can easily lead to a flat tire or unexpected blowout. Also, on some occasions, the extreme summer heat causes the air pressure in your tire to rise and eventually burst. We know how hard it is to control a vehicle with a flat tire, especially when you are traveling on a highway.

Before your trip, ensure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI. However, even new or well-maintained tires can still burst or go flat, which is why you should always carry a jack, lug wrench, and spare tire in your vehicle.

If you get a flat tire on a busy highway or interstate, pull over to the shoulder and call the Oklahoma Highway Patrol or a tow truck to assist you. Changing tires near moving traffic is extremely dangerous. The only time you should change a tire on the road yourself is if you’re able to pull over into a parking lot or driveway far from moving traffic.

Roadside Breakdown

Unexpected breakdowns can disrupt your travel plans. Common causes include alternator problems or running out of gas. Getting stuck on the roadside in a remote location or in severe weather conditions can be stressful and potentially risky.

Prioritize servicing your vehicle before embarking on a journey to address any issues. Always carry an emergency kit containing jumper cables, coolant, oil, flashlight, and essential tools.

If you experience a breakdown, immediately move your vehicle off the road, open the hood, and activate your hazard lights. Call for help, but stay in your vehicle while you wait for assistance to arrive.

Fatigued or Distracted Driving

Driver fatigue and distractions contribute significantly to accidents. Prolonged drives on highways in warm temperatures can lead to drowsiness.

When you get distracted using your phone, eating, or attending to your kids or pets, you may lose focus and attention on the road. In 2022, distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives.

Get a good night’s sleep before your summer trip and take enough breaks every few hours to stretch and stay alert. Share driving responsibilities with someone else to reduce fatigue and pull over right away if you start feeling drowsy.

It’s important to avoid using your phone while driving. Switch it to “do not disturb” mode and have a passenger handle calls or messages. Keep your pets secure in the backseat. Pull over for meals or other tasks that might distract you from driving.

Road Congestion

Traveling during peak times like summer weekends and holidays often leads to traffic and congestion, increasing the risk of accidents. Navigating roads can cause delays that disrupt your travel plans.

Plan your route ahead of time. Check real-time traffic updates to avoid areas with congestion. Allow time for your journey so you don’t feel rushed if you encounter traffic. Maintain a distance between vehicles, use defensive driving techniques, and control any feelings of road rage. Consider traveling during off-peak hours, such as mornings, to minimize exposure to traffic.

But if you get into an accident and are injured due to another person’s negligence, seek the help of an Oklahoma City car accident attorney. We will listen to your situation, discuss your legal options, help gather evidence, and build a strong compensation claim for you.

Dangerous Weather Conditions

Summer weather can be uncertain at times. A sudden storm could occur with heavy rains, making driving difficult. Even with your windshield wipers on, visibility could be low, and roads may be slippery. Dust storms, wildfires, and even tornadoes are possible, depending on what part of the country you are traveling.

To keep you and your passengers safe, it is important to know if your route has any adverse weather warnings for the day ahead by checking with the meteorological office or local authorities.

If driving in rain or a hailstorm, slow down, use your headlights and wipers, and increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Do not use cruise control on wet roads to avoid the danger of hydroplaning.

In bad weather conditions, pull off the road and find a place to stop safely. Wait until it clears rather than continue driving. Stay away from areas that have flooded with water. While driving, pay attention to warning signals of bad weather approaching and adjust your road trip plan accordingly.

Contact Our Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers After a Crash

Improving safety during summer travel involves being prepared for hazards and inclement weather. However, despite all the precautions you may have taken, another person’s negligence could cause an accident while traveling on the road in Oklahoma. Contact Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation.