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How to Avoid a Car Accident During a Cross-Country Trip

Editorial Staff

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If you are looking for a way to make memories, explore, and experience new adventures, your best bet is to plan a cross-country road trip. This opportunity will allow you to see new places, experience different parts of the United States, and make long-lasting, once-in-a-lifetime memories. 

If you do decide to plan a road trip, your mind will likely be preoccupied with thinking about where to stay, which local attractions to visit, and what to pack. And while these are all important factors to consider one planning a vacation, one aspect you can’t afford to overlook is how you’ll stay safe while on the road.

Driving for long periods of time increases your chance of being involved in a collision, and those risks are made even greater when you’re traveling through an unknown area. Luckily, though, there are some simple steps you can take to decrease your chances of getting into a crash. To ensure a stress-free, safe, and enjoyable trip, simply follow the tips outlined below.

What You Need to Do to Stay Safe During a Cross-Country Road Trip

Make Sure Your Vehicle Is in Great Condition

You likely know that you’ll need to make sure your vehicle’s gas tank is full before you hit the road for your road trip. But what about the other crucial components that keep your car running? If you don’t keep up with routine maintenance, you’re far more likely to get into a car accident. This is especially true during a road trip, since you’ll be putting your vehicle under even more stress than usual.

Before you leave for your trip, ensure that all the fluids are at the proper level, the tires are fully inflated, the brakes have been checked and serviced, and your headlights are in working order. If there are any lights on on your dashboard, have these inspected and addressed as needed by a mechanic before you leave.

Figure Out Your Route Ahead of Time

If you’ve ever found yourself suddenly lost while driving, you know just how disconcerting and confusing it can be. If all of your energy and focus is going toward trying to figure out where you are, you’re less likely to pay attention to your surroundings and other drivers on the road. This can put you at risk of things like missing brake lights from drivers in front of you, accidentally swerving into other lanes, unknowingly going above the speed limit, or missing traffic signs.

Carefully plan out your route before you leave for your trip. Review the map to see which major highways you’ll be taking, and make note of any important exits you’ll need to get off. If you can, invest in a GPS system that will provide spoken directions as you drive. This will allow you to keep your eyes on the road and focus on staying safe.

Do Your Research

Once you know where you plan to stop and explore, you should do a bit of research to get familiar with what that area is like. Specifically, check the weather forecast. Does that area tend to get a lot of rain or snow? If so, make sure you have the right tires to handle this kind of terrain.

Or, is it an area that has a lot of wildlife? If so, you’ll need to take it slow while driving through local streets. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting into a collision with an animal trying to cross the road.

Even with proper precautions, sometimes, accidents are unavoidable. If you wind up getting into a crash because another person was negligent, working with car accident attorneys to file a personal injury claim is the best course of action to move forward. 

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