Tips for avoiding accidents on a long road trip

Accidents are not always avoidable but being rested and getting familiar with the car before heading out on a trip can help reduce the chances of a crash.

Connecticut residents spend a lot of time on the highways. Whether they are going to work or taking a trip across the state, people tend to get from place to place in a vehicle. According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, 111,497 automobile collisions took place over the course of a single year. In those accidents, 305 people died. When someone is getting ready to take a road trip, it may be a good idea to take some preventative steps.

Stay alert

Driving takes a lot of focus. If the person behind the wheel looks away from the road to change the radio station, he or she may miss the changing traffic patterns and get in a crash. Not only do drivers have to do what they can do keep their focus on the task at hand, but they also need to stay alert when behind the wheel. Because a long road trip could mean several hours or even days in the car, it is beneficial for anyone who plans to drive to get a full night's rest before heading out on the road.

Drivers may be able to engage in certain activities to increase their alertness. For example, listening to music that they like can help them remain in a good mood and keep focused on the road. Even though having the radio on can be a good idea, the music should be set when the car is not moving or when a passenger can turn the dials.

Know the car

Being familiar with the car can help an operator feel more comfortable in the driver's seat. However, this does not mean that a person cannot rent a car for a long drive. Instead, it means anyone planning to drive should get to know the car before heading out. Drivers should adjust mirrors, know how to operate windshield wipers and learn about the cruise control. People heading out on a long drive should also know that their vehicle can get them from point A to point B by doing normal maintenance, including the following:

  • Checking the oil.
  • Replacing worn out blinkers, lightbulbs or windshield wipers.
  • Checking the air pressure in the tires.
  • Filling up with gas.

Having a proper tune up done prior to a road trip can help ensure the vehicle will not break down while on the highway. A faulty vehicle can lead to a traffic incident just as easily as a distracted driver.

In Connecticut, taking a road trip can be a great pastime. If a person is involved in a crash, it may be beneficial for him or her to work with a knowledgeable attorney.