Traveling by car over the holidays is one of the most popular transportation options, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Read on for our holiday travel safety tips.

  • Start with a checkup on your vehicle: This includes checking the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts. Make sure your tires have enough air and the tread is in good shape.  You should check that you have enough antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid and that your windshield wipers are in good, working condition. 
  • Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Vehicle: You should keep a few necessary items in your vehicle in the event of an emergency. This should include a shovel, ice scraper, spare tire, jumper cables, bags of salt, tool kit, first aid kit, flares, a compass, non-perishable foods and a working flashlight with extra batteries.  It’s important to also keep some cold weather attire in your vehicle such as gloves, hats, scarves and blankets.
  • Packing: Road trips usually require at least some amount of luggage. If you are packing any bags, suitcases or boxes inside the car, make sure that you strap down or secure them. Place heavy items at the bottom of piles, as close to the floor as possible. If you must make a sudden stop or are in a crash, heavy objects can be thrown and seriously injure people in the car.
  • Wear Your Seatbelts: The driver and all passengers should always wear seat belts. This should be the rule in your car whenever you take a trip, even if it is just down the street. You should also make sure that seatbelts are always worn properly. An improperly worn seatbelt will not properly protect a person in the event of an accident. All seat belts and booster seats should be properly installed, and the child should be buckled in according to the manufacturer instructions.
  • Practice Safe Driving: If you find yourself on icy roadways, the most important thing to do is slow down. Hitting the brakes hard is normally your first reaction: however, doing so will often lock up your brakes causing your vehicle to slide on the ice. Because sliding is common on icy roads, so are multi-vehicle pile ups. If you are involved in an accident, stay in the vehicle and keep your seat belt on until help arrives. 

Sadly, sometimes an accident is unavoidable no matter how much you prepare. Here are a few tips in the unfortunate event you have been involved in an accident while traveling.

  • Check for Injuries: Make sure everyone is ok. If anyone is injured seek medical attention right away.
  • Contact the Police: If your car cannot be driven or if there are injuries, you should always contact the police, so a police report can be filed. This is especially helpful when an accident occurs out of state.
  • Exchange Information: Exchange information with the other party involved if possible.

Recovering compensation after an accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, contact the law firm of Berger and Green to review your rights. You may be entitled to compensation. Pursuing a claim after an accident can help pay for unexpected costs such as wage loss, medical bills and pain, and suffering. At Berger and Green, we consider your present and future needs.  Call 412-661-1400 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Pittsburgh at Berger and Green today.

Source: DMV.org, “How to Winterize Your Car”