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How to Prepare Yourself for a Safe Road Trip

Nashville, Tennessee skyline

In recent years, Tennessee has led the country in tourism spending, with $16.8 billion being spent in 2020, according to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Visitors to the city of Nashville make up almost half of Tennessee’s tourism industry, spending over $7.5 billion in 2019. As the capital city with no shortage of things to do and attractions to visit, Nashville is undoubtedly an eagerly awaited destination on any road trip list. If you are visiting from out of town, we want you to arrive safely so you can enjoy everything our city has to offer! Keep these road trip tips in mind.

Time of Day

There is a difference between driving during the day and driving at night. It is essential to plan accordingly and try your best to be on the roads while still light outside. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving in the dark is three times more dangerous than daytime driving.

Driving After Dark

Three significant dangers to driving at night are fatigue, drunk driving and overly bright headlights from oncoming vehicles or cars behind you.

  • Fatigue - The hours between midnight and 6 AM are the most likely times for drowsy driving accidents. Experts even say that, in certain instances, fatigued driving can equate to drunk driving.
  • Drunk Driving - Reports from the same NHTSA study showed that drunk driving accidents were more likely to occur at night than during the day.
  • Overly Bright Headlights - While there is not much you can do as a driver to adjust the lights of others, you can still mitigate the effects by avoiding direct eye contact while keeping the vehicle in the corner of your vision.

Keep Clear Vision

As with every other instance of driving, having a clear view of the road and your surroundings is paramount. It can be especially the case with road-tripping, as the duration is much longer than an average commute.

Adjust Your Mirrors

Take a moment to ensure that your side view and rearview mirrors are properly positioned. Sideview mirrors aligned correctly will show a small portion of your vehicle’s backend, while a rearview mirror will be centered and show as much as the back windshield as possible.

Clean Your Windshield

While oncoming high beams can temporarily hinder your vision, so too can sunlight reflect off from a dirty windshield. Make sure that any dirt or debris is cleared off both the outside and inside of your windshield. Replacing your wipers may also be necessary.

Plan for Bad Weather

Tennessee has been reported as the sixth rainiest state in the United States. It is also very likely that it may be snowing, if your desire is to see the Great Smoky Mountains while they glisten white. Ensure that your windshield wipers are functional and that your tires can handle potentially slippery conditions.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Check Tire Pressure

Road trips put an incredible amount of wear on your tires. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or the inside of your driver-side door for the correct pound per square inch (PSI) level. The last thing you want on a road trip is to spring a flat tire. With that in mind, it is also a good idea to inflate your spare tire in the event you need it.

Check Oil Levels

Checking all your oil levels, especially your motor oil, is extremely important before embarking on a long journey. Think of your car’s engine as its heart, and motor oil is the blood. Motor oil lubricates all the parts of your engine and allows them to work smoothly with minimal friction, resulting in a lesser likelihood of a breakdown.

Check Windshield

While you are cleaning your windshield and preparing for your road trip, take note of any cracks or chips in the glass. Depending on the size of the damage, you may be able to drive with a cracked windshield, although it is not recommended. Consider getting it replaced or stay as far back from construction and utility vehicles as possible.

Nashville Car Accident Attorneys

For nearly two decades, Witherington Injury Law has been fighting for the rights and obtaining the deserved compensation of their clients. Whether you live in Nashville or are visiting from out of the area, our team has the experience you need to provide you with the legal guidance and representation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call us today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out a form online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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