Pre-Summer Safety Checklist for Your Vehicle

Pre-Summer Safety Checklist for Your Vehicle

Preparing Your Car for Summer Travel

Summer is almost here, which means more fun in the sun and road trips are upon us. When it’s time for that vacation you’ve been waiting for, don’t neglect to take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of your vehicle and anyone who will be riding in it. Here are the top three things you should be thinking about before getting on vacation time.

Routine Maintenance

Making sure that your vehicle is safe to drive is always a great first stop on your road trip. When the snow and ice finally melt away at the end of the winter season, you should already be thinking about taking your car in for a tune-up. In addition to checking the tire pressure and treads, here are some things you should consider:

  • Getting an oil change.
  • The sound and feel of the brakes.
  • Battery life.
  • Checking on all necessary fluids, including windshield cleaner.
  • Replacing your wiper blades.
  • Replacing any worn or damaged hoses and belts.

Ensuring that your car is in a safe condition gives you one less thing to worry about when on the road.

Traveling with Kids

Having your little ones in tow can add an extra layer of stress and safety precautions when traveling. While Arkansas requires that all passengers under the age of 15 wear a seatbelt, these laws vary by state and can come with additional restrictions on who sits in the vehicle. It’s best to review each state's seat belt laws on your road trip map before getting on the road.

Car Seats

In addition to the seatbelt requirements, Arkansas law specifies that all children under six and weighing less than 60 pounds should be in an appropriate car seat. This differs from recommendations from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) in that it allows for only seatbelts at an earlier age. Here is what the NHTSA recommends:

  • Rear-facing car seat: birth to 12 months, although they can remain in this type of seat if they aren’t greater than the height and weight specifications.
  • Forward-facing car seat: one to three years, can go up to seven years if height and weight requirements are met.
  • Booster seat: four to up to 12 years when the child can properly fit in a seatbelt.
  • Seatbelt: depending on the size of your child, this may be appropriate at age eight.

Along with knowing these specifications, the NHTSA encourages you to get your car/booster seat registered so that you can be up-to-date on any recalls.

Creating an Emergency Kit

Although no one anticipates their car breaking down or being involved in an accident, it’s crucial that you create a kit for emergencies. This can be as extensive as you want it to be, but here are some critical items to keep on hand:

  • Jumper cables.
  • Flares or reflective signs.
  • Portable phone charger.
  • No-spill gas container.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Seatbelt cutter or window breaker.
  • First-aid supplies.

While these items are the basic essentials you may need in case of an emergency, depending on where you’re traveling to or who you have as a passenger, you may want to consider other options:

  • Nonperishable food and water.
  • Extra oil and washer fluid.
  • Blanket or coat.
  • Towing strap.
  • Umbrella.

Keeping a stocked emergency kit on hand will help you be more prepared for any worst-case scenario.

In Case of Emergency, Call Easley & Houseal, PLLC

While no one plans for an accident, they can sometimes be inevitable in areas you aren’t familiar with. This summer, if you get in an accident on Arkansas roads that results in your injury, consider working with a personal injury attorney to recover any damages. Schedule a free consultation by calling (870) 330-0015.

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