I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Top Summer Road Trip Safety Tips
Over the next few weeks, more and more people will be getting in their cars and hitting the road for their summer trips. Before you get on the highway, you should observe some summer road trip safety tips.
You should check your car over for potential issues before you get on the road. It may be as simple as making sure you have screen wash. Take your car into a garage for a service including an oil change, a battery check, and a tire rotation. Be sure to check your fluid levels, wiper blades, lights and air conditioning.
Look out for Recalls
The massive recall of Takata airbags highlighted how many drivers are unaware of potential dangers associated with their vehicle. Use NHTSA’s VIN Look-Up Tool to find out of your car has been repaired as part of a safety recall. Visit www.nhtsa.gov/recalls to find out about possible safety defects.
Protect Children and Passengers
If you have children in the back of your car, make sure they are safely restrained. All children under 13 should ride in the back of the car. Car seats should be working and properly fitted. Other passengers should wear their seat belts.
Leave yourself plenty of time for your trip and build in stops. If you drive for hours without a break, you will be less alert and more prone to accidents. Rotate drivers if possible.
Watch Out for Riders
Cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable of road users. More riders are out on two wheels in the summer. As a driver, you should give them plenty of distance. Virginia has a three-foot passing rule for cyclists.
Put Away Your Cell Phone
Distracted driving is the scourge of road trips in the 21st century. Apps and navigational services cause more distractions than in previous years. If you are driving, stow your phone away in a safe place or let a passenger find your route on a cell phone. Also, avoid other distractions like eating while driving and keep pets secured.
Have Emergency Items on Board
A first aid kit is vital for your family summer road trip. Have items like flares, jumper cables and a flashlight in case you break down. Carry plenty of water, blankets, and food. We hope you don’t break down but you should always be prepared. You should have membership of a breakdown service like AAA.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Drunk driving claims thousands of lives a year and DUI crashes spike over the summer months. Drink coffee rather than alcohol on your road trip and use a designated driver or a ride sharing program if you are at a party.
We hope these Summer Road Trip Safety Tips help you and you enjoy your trip. If you do end up in an accident, please see our Virginia auto accident crash resources here or call us today at (757) 455-0077.
John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.
Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.