With more than 20 million residents and over 100 million visitors per year, Florida is one of the most populous and popular states in the U.S. Although Florida’s tourism industry operates year-round, summer is undoubtedly one of the busiest seasons here in the Sunshine State.
Together, the increased traffic congestion and stifling summer heat significantly increase the risk of car accidents. The Brooksville car accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC have compiled the following road trip safety tips to keep our Florida neighbors safe this summer.
Tips for Summer Road Trips
Whether you’re heading to a vacation destination or simply navigating your local community, here are some summer safety tips for driving on Florida roads:
- Always buckle up for safety – Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that it is illegal for drivers, front-seat passengers, and all passengers under the age of 18 not to use a seatbelt while traveling in a vehicle in Florida. You can also be ticketed as a driver if you allow passengers under 18 to ride in your vehicle without proper safety restraints. In addition to being unlawful, driving without a seatbelt is incredibly unsafe and significantly increases the risk of severe or deadly injuries in an accident.
- Get your car tuned up before you go – Hot summer weather puts additional strain on your radiator, air conditioning, tires, and other critical components of your vehicle. To avoid the risk of breakdown, schedule a maintenance appointment before taking long drives in the heat. Have a qualified shop or mechanic check your tires (including the spare), brakes, battery, fluids, filters, and belts.
- Stop distractions before they happen – Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents any time of year, but it’s particularly hazardous on busy summer roads full of tourist traffic. Plan to prevent distractions by putting your phone away, inputting GPS destinations, and making radio selections before putting the car in gear. If possible, travel with a passenger who can help with navigation, phone messages, and tending to pets or children.
- Be prepared in case of emergencies – You never know when you might be dealing with a flat tire, a collision, an extreme weather event, or another emergency. You can stay prepared by creating a roadside emergency kit to keep in the car any time you drive. At a minimum, you should include a first aid kit, flashlights, water rations, road flares, jumper cables, and tools.
- Protect yourself and others from the sun – Even if you’re driving all day in a car with tinted windows, the sun can still reach your skin and cause sunburn. Use plenty of sunscreen and protect your eyes with polarized sunglasses whether you’re on a long road trip or spending the day outdoors. Cover seats with towels or blankets before leaving to avoid uncomfortable heat burns when you return. Finally, check your vehicle before you exit and ensure it’s locked to prevent pets or kids from getting trapped inside in the potentially deadly heat.
- Get plenty of rest and take breaks – If you have a long drive ahead, get plenty of sleep the night before. If possible, travel with a friend who can take over driving responsibilities when you get tired. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and reset mentally on long road trips.
Injured? We Can Help
If you have been injured in a Brooksville car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Florida car accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC. We’ll be ready to answer your questions and evaluate your case when you contact us for a free initial consultation.
Jim Holliday has recovered millions of dollars for his clients in restitution for their injuries.