Cool weather is right around the corner here in Wisconsin. As we cling to the last few days of summer, many drivers in the Janesville area are preparing to set out on Labor Day weekend road trips. While the three-day weekend affords an opportunity for many people to visit the lake, go camping, or visit family, it is also a dangerous time to travel. Last year, the National Safety Council predicted that nearly 400 lives would be lost over the Labor Day weekend holiday period and that nearly 48,000 would be seriously injured in car accidents. Here at Ellis Insurance, we want you to stay as safe as possible out on the road. Continue reading to learn some of our top tips for Labor Day travel safety.
Wear Your Seatbelt
The most important thing drivers and passengers can do is buckle up properly in a vehicle – even just to drive down the street. Seatbelts save thousands of lives every year, and an estimated 150 lives are saved each Labor Day weekend by seatbelt use. Make sure the shoulder strap crosses the chest away from the neck, and the lap belt sits just below the stomach. Children under age 8 and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall should be secured in an appropriate child safety seat that has been installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a great resource for proper use and installation of child safety seats.
Check Your Vehicle for Maintenance Issues
Sometimes, it is not driving behavior that leads to an accident, but rather the negligence of those that don’t maintain their vehicle. Underinflated tires and tires with poor tread are among some of the most common pre-crash factors for highway accidents. Before you set out on your road trip, take the time to inspect your vehicle for anything that could pose a safety issue on the road. Take your car in for an oil change, tire rotation, and a trip inspection to look for excess wear on belts, hoses, and brakes. Be sure to address any issues that need attention before leaving for a long trip.
Drive Cautiously and Defensively
Most accidents are easily avoided by driving with greater caution and intention. Be sure to examine your route before departure to ensure you know which exits to take and when they are coming. Cutting across multiple lanes of traffic at the last second is a recipe for disaster. Also, be aware of other drivers on the road. Whether it is a distracted driver who is texting behind the wheel or the driver of a big truck that cannot see you in his blind spot, it is up to you to defend yourself when driving.
Update Your Car Insurance
If you haven’t taken the time to review your car insurance coverage in a while, this may be the time to do it. Often, drivers think they are covered for a particular event only to find out they aren’t when the time comes to file a claim. Give your agent a call to ensure your liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage is still fitting your needs, and also that your policy covers 24-hour emergency assistance in case you find yourself stranded or locked out of your vehicle during your Labor Day weekend trip. If you don’t have an independent agent or you are looking for one who can adapt to your changing needs, contact our office to request a free, no-obligation car insurance quote. We look forward to serving you soon.