Prevent Maine Car Accident Risk on Road Trips

The pair were apparently on their way to a beach vacation, as evidenced by the fact that emptied suitcase, piles of clothing, a beach umbrella and a cooler were strewn about the roadway.The crash, on Interstate 95 near Pittsfield, sent both occupants to the hospital, one with potentially life-threatening injuries. Maine State Police have reported that the driver was speeding when he approached a smaller-moving vehicle, swerved to the left and lost control of the vehicle, causing the car to crash.

Our Bangor personal injury lawyers know this was not the way these two intended to spend their vacation. We are thankful no other vehicles were involved, and we hope these two make a full and swift recovery.

It’s our hope that other Maine road-trippers will avoid this same fate by taking into account the recent safety advisory issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

Summer is by far the busiest travel season. Maine is a prime destination, but many locals prefer to travel out-of-state to holiday.

Everyone should of course adhere to local laws, which include refraining from speeding, driving intoxicated or texting/operating an electronic device while behind the wheel.

Drivers on road trips, though, should also take special care to provide ample travel time to account for delays (so you aren’t tempted to speed or drive aggressively), make sure you get plenty of rest (so you aren’t driving when you’re too sleepy to do so safely), have your route well-mapped out before you go and keep your vehicle in good working order.

Regarding the last item, many drivers may be unsure of exactly what they need to do to ensure a road-worthy vehicle. Use this as your vehicle safety checklist:

Keep up on your regular maintenance. This is good advice in general, but it’s especially important if you plan to take your vehicle long distances. This means you want to maintain the schedule for oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations and battery checks. All of this will help you to avoid an unexpected breakdown, which is particularly unpleasant if you’re in an unfamiliar area far from home.

Avoid a blowout or flat tire by using the tire pressure gauge to ensure your tires are all properly inflated.

Make sure all the belts and hoses under the hood are in decent shape, with no signs of serious wear and tear. Bear in mind that summer heat can accelerate the rate at which hoses and rubber belts degrade.

Swap out your wipers, if you haven’t done so in a while. Clear vision is critical in a road trip, and blades that are old won’t offer you that. This is a cheap fix that can literally be a life-saver.

Make sure all your lights are working properly. This includes not just your headlights, but your brake lights, your emergency flashers, your turn signals and your interior lights. For those in an RV or trailing a boat, check the trailer lights as well.

If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.

Additional Resources:
Safety Advisory: NHTSA Encourages Motorists to be Prepared Before Heading Out on Summer Road Trips, June 4, 2013, Press Release, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

More Blog Entries:
Traffic Collision Reduction Goal of Federal Infotainment Guidelines, May 22, 2013, Bangor Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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