With warmer weather coming, many people worry less about driving conditions. While winter weather conditions can make driving more dangerous and be hard on your vehicle, long trips have risks of their own.

Many car wreck injuries are not externally noticeable, and can have long lasting symptoms. We represent personal injury cases to ensure that people are adequately protected under the law, however our ultimate desire would be that no one would ever need our service. These are some tips for driving safely when traveling:

Check your vehicle’s maintenance. Before leaving for a long trip, make sure that your tires are in good condition, your oil is not in need of a change and is topped off, that transmission and brake fluids are full, radiator coolant is well stocked, and your windshield wipers are in good condition.

Familiarize yourself with your route. Be sure to have a general idea of the routes you will be taking, the weather forecast along the way, and any construction that has been reported. It make benefit you to consider an alternate route if conditions are poor, both for safety and to save on gas.

Make sure you have a cell phone charger. This is essential in case of emergency. If you are in an accident, you need to make sure you can contact roadside assistance, your insurance company, and possibly a personal injury attorney. It is also a good idea to keep contact information for these on hand.

Be well rested. Not only should you get a good nights sleep before a long trip, it’s a good idea to take turns driving and take regular breaks every 3-4 hours. Regular breaks are also good for keeping your car in good condition!

Keep your tank at least ¼ full. When driving on unfamiliar roads it is always a good idea to keep your tank above ¼ to ensure that you won’t run out of gas. This also helps your car to get better gas mileage!

Be well stocked. Have a well-stocked first aid kit and keep snacks and water in the car with you. The better you feel the more alert of a driver you will be.

Be a cautious driver. Pull completely off the road in case of an emergency – not onto the shoulder. Always wear your seatbelt. Don’t follow the next car too closely. (There should be at least 4 seconds between when the car in front of you passes an object and when you pass it.)

Be able to make a quick fix. Make sure you know how to make basic repairs on your own car. Keep a small toolbox, jumper cables, a gallon of water, a tire pressure gauge, extra fluids, and a spare tire in your trunk.

According to the NHTSA, approximately 2.6 million passenger vehicle occupants are injured each year in traffic accidents, accounting for 95 percent of all injury-causing accidents on the roads. We hope that these tips will help you to have a safe travel experience, but if you ever find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer, make Bill Hotz & Associates your first call.