Summer is a wonderful time to take long trips with family members and friends. But, it is also the time of year when accidents increase considerably because there are more vehicles on our roadways and because alcohol consumption increases during this time. In this series, we will examine the various steps and measures you can take to keep your family safe during this summer travel season.
Vehicle Maintenance Checklist
One of the most important items on your checklist should be to get your vehicle ready for the road. Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns and getting you safely to your destination. Here is a list of basic safety checks that must be performed before you embark on that road trip:
• Tire maintenance: Check the air pressure in all your tires, especially the spare tire, which is often overlooked. Check pressure when tires are cold in order to get an accurate reading. Inspect your tires for signs of excessive wear. If the tread is worn down to 1/16th of an inch that means you need new tires.
• Belts and hoses: Inspect all belts and hoses to make sure there are no blisters, cracks or cuts in the rubber. With high temperatures, it is likely that the rubber belts and hoses with further degrade.
• Wiper blades: These are also susceptible to summer heat because they are made of rubber. It is worth investing in new ones if they are worn.
• Coolant level: Get your cooling system flushed and refilled. On a long road trip in summer heat, you will want your air conditioner functioning well.
• Fluid levels: This includes checking oil levels and the transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield fluids.
• Lights: Make sure the headlamps, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights are in working condition.
• Brakes: Your vehicle’s brakes should be in top working condition. Check to see if you need to replace brake pads before your trip.
Protecting Your Rights
Despite all the precautions you may take, accidents still happen. If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of a negligent driver, it is important that you know and understand your legal rights. It is also important that you have your insurance, license and vehicle registration with you during your travels. If you have been injured in a car accident, an experienced California personal injury lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.