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NHTSA Vehicle Safety Tips for Summer

In a recent press release, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encouraged drivers to ensure the safety of their summer trips by preparing their vehicles in advance (U.S. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Urges Motorists to Have a Safe Summer). The NHTSA has dedicated a page on its website to provide safety tips, including a downloadable safety checklist, which motorists should consult before embarking on their travels this summer.

“We are encouraging all motorists to drive safely this summer and to make sure their vehicles are road trip ready,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. The following summer driving tips might require a little work upfront but could help prevent a breakdown or accident later.

Before Your Trip

  • Check for recalls: search for your vehicle at nhtsa.gov/recalls
  • Get your car serviced: preventive maintenance, including regular tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations, helps prevent breakdowns

Vehicle Safety Checklist

  • Air conditioning: make sure your A/C is working properly before hitting the road
  • Cooling system: check the water and antifreeze in your radiator
  • Fluid levels: check oil, brake, transmission, power steering, and windshield washer fluid levels
  • Belts and hoses: Inspect belts and hoses for bulges, blisters, cracks, or cuts in the rubber
  • Wiper blades: examine wiper blades for wear and tear on both sides
  • Floor mats: make sure floor mats are the proper size and correctly installed
  • Lights: check headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights
  • Pack an emergency roadside kit: even after taking every safety precaution, you could still suffer an accident or breakdown, so pack an emergency roadside kit, including:
    • Cell phone and charger
    • First aid kit
    • Flashlight
    • Flares and a white flag
    • Jumper cables
    • Tire pressure gauge
    • Jack for changing a tire
    • Work gloves
    • Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
    • Extra windshield washer fluid
    • Maps
    • Emergency blankets, towels, and coats
  • Tires: Check the air pressure and tread wear on your tires and make sure your spare tire is in good condition

Credit to the NHTSA for recognizing that a commitment to the safety needs to occur long before you get in the car. Once you are traveling 70 mph next to a 40-ton tractor-trailer, it may be too late.

If you have been injured in an accident, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman for a free consultation. We only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution