How To Have A Safe Summer Road Trip During The Pandemic
Due to COVID-19, this summer probably looked a little different than it did prior. People haven’t been using air travel lately (dropped 70% compared to this time last year), and instead have chosen to take smaller-scale road trips with their immediate families. While road trips are far more pandemic-safe compared to public transportation (like air travel), it does bring with it other risks. So, because more people decided to take road trips this summer, the professional attorneys here at Chain | Cohn | Stiles agreed we’d like to provide a list of tips and tricks to have a safe summer road trip during the pandemic. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Before you load up the kids, pets, and your luggage, make sure you plan your entire trip. Map out the best roads, states, and highways you want to pass through. Due to the pandemic, you may encounter travel advisories such as toll collection, rest-area closures, and even restricted access to some roadways. Being aware of these things helps make your trip all that much smoother. Additionally, you can call any restaurant, bar, or hotel you plan to visit on your journey to make sure they’re open when you plan on stopping by.
All in all, taking a little time to plan can save you tons of headaches on the road.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
One of the most dangerous things you can do is get behind the wheel while tired or drowsy. Drowsiness has similar effects on the body as drinking. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best way to prevent drowsy driving is to get 7-8 hours of sleep the night before you leave on your road trip.
Okay, so getting enough rest helps prevent driving tired. Yet, what if you don’t have that option? Well, there are a few signs you can watch out for to help avoid driving tired. If you notice any of the following symptoms of drowsiness, then pull over and get some rest before you continue:
- Having a hard time focusing
- Heavy feeling eyelids
- Having a hard time remembering the last stretch of road you drove (also called highway hypnosis)
- You’re yawning a lot.
- Swerving in and out of your lane
Bring Some Virus Protection (And Make Sure You Use It)
When we say bring some virus protection, what we’re talking about are things like:
Unfortunately, law enforcement throughout the country reported an increase in speeding throughout the pandemic. Avoid speeding while traveling. For help, A.A.A. suggests practicing a system called “R.E.A.D. the Road:”
- R: Right speed for right now
- E: Eyes up, brain on
- A: Anticipate their next move
- D: Donut of space around your car (in case you need to make an emergency stop or another maneuver)
Stay As Focused As Possible On The Road
Distracted driving is dangerous. The Federal Government estimates that distracted driving contributes to nearly 16% of all fatal crashes, causing approximately 5,000 deaths every year.
To keep yourself focused, you can do things like having a passenger open our bottle or change the song on your phone. You can turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature of your mobile device to limit distractions. Other things you can do (courtesy of the AARP) include:
- Unplug your phone or keep it on silent
- Focus when behind the wheel. Pay attention to your surroundings, and watch your mirrors and speed.
- Secure all cargo, including luggage and family members (the most precious cargo of all). Never place small items on your lap or the floor near the driver-side pedals.
Contact Our Attorneys
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form at chainlaw.com.