Highway Truck Mishaps: How To Stay Safe During Road Trips
The popularity of road trips surged during pandemic times. Traveling in a vehicle with a few passengers meant zero exposure to the virus. The threat is no longer around, but road trips continue to be the favorite for Americans.
According to recent consumer research from TransUnion, 43% of households prioritize road trips as their top travel plan. That’s nearly half of the American families planning to hit the road to have more flexible vacations, enjoy the journey, and save big by giving up on air tickets.
While everything about road trips looks great, American highways are not the safest ones in the world. CDC research states that the rate of motor vehicle crash deaths in the country is higher than in most high-income countries.
Speaking of states, Missouri had one of the worst numbers, with 931 fatal crashes and 1016 deaths in 2021 alone. Breaking down the numbers further, 178 people died in traffic crashes in St. Louis during the year.
The numbers are scary for road trip enthusiasts in the area, but caution can be a savior. Trucks and heavy vehicles are the biggest threat on highways. Fortunately, you can avert truck mishaps by following these unspoken safety rules during road trips.
Did you know that car accidents are among the top cause of death of Americans in the 1-54 year age group? Most mishaps are avoidable, which means it is possible to lower the risk. The best piece of advice for drivers to keep their families safe on the highways is to be vigilant and follow the defensive driving rules. Some of the basics that can prevent mishaps and save lives include:
- Follow the traffic rules and speed limits
- Stay alert behind the wheel and take a break when you feel sleepy
- Never indulge in drunk, rash, or distracted driving
- Ensure that passengers wear safety belts
- Maintain a safe distance from large vehicles and potentially negligent drivers
- Keep an eye on the road and choose the safest route
- Have more than one designated driver to get rest and breaks
Prepare For The Worst
Even the best drivers may get into trouble during long-distance road trips, mostly due to the negligence of other drivers. Trucking accidents are a huge risk on highways because of the sheer size of these vehicles. Truckers are often overworked, making them susceptible to mishaps.
Surveys suggest that St. Louis is notorious for traffic, being the worst in Missouri, so the concern is bigger if you are on a road trip in this area. You should be prepared for the worst and be aware of your rights. Getting medical treatment should be your top priority if you get into a truck accident. The second thing you should do is to connect with a St. Louis trucking accident lawyer sooner than later.
The TorHoerman Law team states that timely action can help victims establish the negligence of the truck driver and get the compensation they deserve. Victims may be intimidated by the legal team of a trucking corporation to settle for a lowball offer or give up the claim. Also, trucking accident claims often have multiple liable parties. A lawyer can guide the victim and ensure optimal compensation.
Stay Ahead Of Vehicle Maintenance
A safe road trip is not just about driving safely and knowing what to do if you have an accident. You also need to ensure that your car is in great shape. No one wants to be stranded in the middle of nowhere because it can be risky. A well-maintained vehicle can prevent the situation and make the journey smooth and safe.
Conversely, being negligent about maintenance can cause unexpected breakdowns on long routes. Get a comprehensive inspection of your ride before embarking on the journey. If anything needs to be fixed, get it done right away. Also, learn a few basics of vehicle maintenance, as it can help you get through small issues without professional assistance.
Packing a maintenance kit in the trunk is a good idea because you may need to handle minor repairs on the highway. Spare tires, a tire pressure gauge, wiper blades, and a wiper fluid are a few basics to carry for long trips.
Road trips are exciting and affordable, but drivers and passengers should be extra conscious about highway perils. Think beyond driving safely and following the rules, and pay extra attention to speeding and negligent truckers. Heavy vehicles are the most dangerous when it comes to collisions, so be aware of the risk and stay safe by following these tips.