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Safe Travel Tips: Avoiding Driving-Related Personal Injuries on Your Road Trip This Summer

Photo of a person driving a car into the sunset
Photo by Will Truettner

Who doesn’t love a good road trip in the summer? Whether it’s a drive to the beach or a trek across the country, summertime is a wonderful time to venture out!

Before you hit the road this summer, it’s a good idea to think about safety. It only takes a fraction of a second for a fun road trip to turn into a nightmare. Here are the top tips from our personal injury lawyers to help reduce the risks of car troubles and injuries on summer road trips.

Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

There are steps you can take—both before you leave home and during your road trip—to reduce the risk of vehicle breakdown, car accidents, and serious personal injury. Here are our top tips:

  1. Have your vehicle serviced. Car troubles can lead to car accidents. See to any needed maintenance or repairs before you hit the road. A well-maintained vehicle is safer and more reliable. Take your vehicle in for an oil change, tune up, fluid top up, and battery and tire pressure check. Make sure the brake lights, headlights, turn signals, and wipers are working properly.

  2. Pack a vehicle safety kit. Gather items you may need in case of emergency, including a flashlight, water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, jumper cables, a spare tire and jack, maps, and a cell phone charger or spare battery.

  3. Plan your route. Whether you are venturing out to unfamiliar territory or travelling well-known roads, take the time to map out your route and check road conditions. Doing so in advance will reduce your stress and free up your attention so you can focus on driving.

  4. Don’t overpack your vehicle. We’ve all seen those cars that are packed to the roof. This is problematic for several reasons. It can make it difficult to see out of the vehicle’s windows, which increases the likelihood of an accident. It also poses a major threat if you need to brake hard or if an accident occurs. Items in the vehicle can fly into you or your passengers, causing serious personal injury.

  5. Get a good night’s sleep. When you are well-rested, you are better able to concentrate, adapt, and react to hazards. Sleep deprivation can impair a driver in the same way as alcohol.

  6. Check the weather. Have a look at the weather forecast for your planned route. Adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain and wind can make driving challenging, if not downright dangerous. If you encounter an unexpected summer storm while driving, reduce your vehicle’s speed and pull over in a safe location if visibility and road conditions are particularly bad.

  7. Leave yourself enough time. Don’t put yourself in a time crunch that makes it tempting to speed or drive aggressively. Speed-related deaths on Ontario roads reached a 10-year high with 81 fatalities in 2021, according to provincial police.

  8. Buckle up. Seatbelts prevent injuries and save lives. Make sure you and everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt.

  9. Don’t drive under the influence. Never drive if you have been drinking or using drugs.

  10. Avoid distractions. Program your GPS before you start driving. Don’t use your smartphone to text or email while driving. If you must make a call, pull over to a safe place or use a headset or hands-free device. Plan to stop for meals so you don’t have to eat while driving. If you are travelling with children, bring activities to keep them entertained so they aren’t distracting you.

  11. Take breaks. Fatigue is a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents. If you feel fatigued while driving, take a break or share driving duties if possible.

  12. Keep your eyes out for other road users. Stay alert for any vehicles in the vicinity of your vehicle, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles—the latter of which are out in far greater numbers in the summertime. Watch carefully for pedestrians and cyclists. Children are more likely to be out playing on the streets in the summer. Joggers may also be on the road. Be alert and remember to use your mirrors, shoulder-check, and scan ahead. It is unfortunately easy for a careless lane change or inattentive backing-out of a driveway to cause serious personal injury or death.

If You’ve Been Hurt in A Car Accident, Talk to A Personal Injury Lawyer

Local residents rely on Littlejohn Barristers to secure personal injury compensation following any type of motor vehicle accident. We have been fighting for justice for our injured clients since 1996.

Our office is in Barrie, but our dedicated lawyers are proud to serve clients in Alliston, Stayner, Innisfil, Bradford, Wasaga Beach, Midland, Orillia, and Collingwood. The personal injury lawyers at our firm would be pleased to evaluate your case if you have been injured in an accident. Your initial consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to reach out to set up an appointment today!


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