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  • Safety Tips for Summer Road Trips

    With summer in full swing and plenty more hot days on the horizon, millions of people are hopping in their cars and hitting the road for fun trips with their families and friends. Before you and your loved ones embark on an adventure, you should brush up on some important safety tips to help prevent an unexpected summertime breakdown or even worse, a car accident.

    Summer Driving Stats

    A team of analysts reviewed recent data from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and found:

    • Speed-related crashes have grown by 24% across the nation
    • Fatal crashes that occur in June, July and August have increased by almost 20% in the last five years
    • Rhode Island, New Jersey and Minnesota have seen the largest increase in deadly crashes during the summer months
    • Some states experienced an increase in fatal crashes as high as 40%
    • The number of deadly crashes tends to be higher in colder, northern states than in warmer, southern ones. This likely stems from summer travel patterns
    • Speed-related fatalities in urban areas among drivers aged 25 to 44-years-old have risen dramatically

    Roadway Safety

    To avoid experiencing a preventable or scary problem that puts a wrench in your trip, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has several useful recommendations for people with upcoming travel plans. Here is what the agency says we should all keep an eye out for:

    • Air conditioning. Be sure to check your A/C’s performance before starting your trip. AC units have to work harder to cool a vehicle during extreme summer temperatures, so verify that yours is running smoothly. Not having a working A/C is not just uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous – especially for elderly individuals, young children, and people who have certain medical conditions
    • Heatstroke. Heatstroke in vehicles usually occurs when a child is left unattended in a parked vehicle or accesses an unattended vehicle unbeknownst to their parents or caregiver(s). Even when the temperature is in the 70s and a vehicle’s windows are cracked open, a vehicle can rapidly reach a deadly temperature. Never leave a child unattended in a car – not even for a few minutes. A child’s body temperature rises three to five times as fast as an adult’s
    • Belts and hoses. Hot temperatures accelerate the rate at which rubber belts and hoses degrade. Before your trip, look under the hood and inspect belts and hoses for bulges, blisters, cracks or cuts in the rubber. It is also best to replace them before your trip if they show any signs of wear and tear. Also check that hose connections are secure
    • Do a recall check through the NHTSA’s recall tool here:
    • Ensure that all your tires are filled per the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure guidelines. To get an accurate tire pressure reading, check your tires when they are cold. This means when they have not been driven in the last three hours. Make sure you have a spare tire if your vehicle is equipped with one. Look closely at your tread and replace any tires that have uneven wear patterns or insufficient tread
    • Make sure you have enough coolant in your vehicle
    • Fluid levels. Check your vehicle’s oil level periodically. Same as with coolant, if it is time or almost time to get an oil change, do so before your trip. Also check your vehicle’s brake, automatic transmission or clutch, power steering and windshield washer fluid levels
    • Have a mechanic check your vehicle’s battery and charging system, emergency flashers and interior lights. For hybrid-electric vehicles, keep gasoline in the tank to support the gasoline engine
    • Check headlights, brake lights and turn signals. Check trailer brake lights and turn signals as well, if necessary
    • Wiper blades. You may need to replace your window wiper blades, which are vulnerable to summer heat just like rubber hoses and belts are. Check windshield wiper blades for signs of wear and tear on both sides and replace them if necessary
    • Floor mats. Improperly installed floor mats can interfere with the operation of the accelerator and/or brake pedal, heightening the risk of getting into a crash. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for mat installation and use retention clips to secure the mat. Always use mats that are the correct size and fit to your vehicle
    • Stock your vehicle with items like a cell phone and charger, first aid kit, flashlight, flares and a white flag, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, jack (and ground mat) for changing a tire, work gloves and a change of clothing, basic repair tools and some duct tape, water, paper towels, nonperishable food, medications, extra windshield washer fluid, maps and emergency blankets, towels and coats
    • Plan your route and check the weather, road conditions and traffic before you take off

    No matter what time of the year it is or what your travel plans may be, you should always wear a seat belt, stay alert behind the wheel, not text or drive distracted, avoid speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors and never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. To check out more of the NHTSA’s summer road trip safety tips, visit:

    Need to Speak with a Lawyer?

    The attorneys at our firm have represented victims of automobile accidents for decades. If you were in a crash and would like to explore the possibility of filing a claim to help cover your injuries, someone from our firm can help. Here are some examples of our firm’s notable automobile accident recoveries on behalf of injured clients:
    • Our client was left paralyzed due to the injuries they sustained in a serious motor vehicle accident. Our team pursued a case not only against the at-fault driver who hit our client head-on, but also against the automobile manufacturer for defective seat belts and crash-worthiness of the vehicle. We recovered $4,500,000.00 for our client. Learn more about this recovery here:
    • Our client had an amputation of both his legs below the knee after being struck by a tractor-trailer on an interstate highway. Our investigation revealed that the tractor-trailer’s brakes were worn out and that the tires were bald. Our team successfully recovered $3,000,000.00 for our client. Read more at:

    To speak with someone directly about your accident, contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)