Summer Road Trips: Safety Tips and Recommendations
According to AAA, more Americans are going to be traveling this year than last year this summer. This rise in summer travelers is even higher for residents of Florida. AAA has attributed this rise to a variety of factors, including improved employment statistics and low gas prices. If you and your family are planning on traveling by car or taking a road trip, there are a few ways to make your trip as smoothly and safe as possible.
Focus on Safety
The American Red Cross has recommendations to stay safe while driving on highways. They suggest that drivers avoid distractions, observe speed limits (which can take extra attention if you’re driving in a new place), use caution in work zones, receive the proper amount of rest, and use headlights at dusk and during poor weather. If you have car trouble, be sure to pull as far off of the highway as possible.
In addition, when you’re planning a long road trip, the Red Cross recommends preparing for unexpected difficulties by carrying a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle, packing necessities (such as snacks, water, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and important documents), and being sure to let someone know where you’re going, what route you plan on taking, and when you plan to arrive.
One incredibly important safety precaution is to always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding as a passenger in a car. According to the Sun Sentinel, 48 percent of people killed during vehicle crashes in Florida during 2013 were not wearing a seatbelt. While Florida law does not require seatbelts to be worn by adults over the age of 18 who ride in the rear of a vehicle, wearing a seatbelt is still one of the most effective ways to ensure a passenger’s safety and to prevent death during a traffic accident.
Additionally, wearing a seatbelt is a good way to avoid costly traffic citations while traveling. Florida and 33 other states have primary seatbelt laws, which say that the driver can receive a ticket when the driver, or even a front-seat passenger, is not wearing a seatbelt.
Cellphones and Driving
Drivers should also avoid using cellphones while driving. According to USA Today, cellphone usage was responsible for 1 in 4 car accidents in the United States in 2014. Additionally, use of hands-free phone systems is roughly just as dangerous as using holding the phone in the driver’s hand. If you receive a call or text while on the road, its best to wait until you are able to pull over or stop at a rest area before responding.
If you’re traveling out-of-state, it’s important to know that different states have different laws regarding the use of cellphones while driving. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 14 states and the District of Columbia prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving. While no state bans cell phone use for all drivers, 38 states and the District of Columbia ban cellphone use entirely for new or novice drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident while traveling, contact the Romero Law Firm. We will help you understand your options, and fight for your rights and your best interest. Contact us today at 877-ROMERO-1 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.