Pre-Summer Safety Checklist for Your Vehicle

young child sleeping in a car seat

Get Ready for Road Trips with These Tips

As the summer months get closer, you may already be thinking about those family road trips or vacations to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As you begin your planning process for these events, don’t forget to consider the safety of your vehicle. There are many steps you can take to ensure that your family will have an easier time getting to and from your destination, but here are some of our favorite things to keep in mind.

1. Keep Up with Car Maintenance

Keeping your vehicle up-to-date in terms of maintenance and safety is a good idea for any size trip, but especially if you’re taking one cross-country this summer. Before heading out, here are a few things you should consider:

  • Renew your registration.
  • Get an oil change.
  • Have your tires rotated or replaced.
  • Assess the way the brakes sound and feel.
  • Check on all the necessary fluids: brakes, power steering, windshield cleaner, etc.
  • Replace the windshield wiper blades.
  • Check for any worn or damaged belts.

Maintaining your vehicle properly will not only make it last longer but can help with avoidable breakdowns and accidents caused by malfunctions.

2. The Basics of Traveling with Children

The need to drive and maintain your vehicle safely becomes even more important when you are traveling with children. As such, there may be a few extra precautions to keep in mind, including:

  • Avoid using your phone while driving.
  • Teach your children to keep all toys and snacks in the backseat and avoid throwing anything towards the front.
  • Use the appropriate safety restraints for their age and size, and ensure they know to stay buckled and remain seated.

Choosing the Right Car Seat

Mississippi requires that all children under the age of 13 be in the backseat. They also outline the pediatrician-recommended type of seats and restraints that should be used as the child grows. Here is what they recommend:

  • Infants and Toddlers (under age 2): rear-facing only seats until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight limit.
  • Toddlers and Preschoolers: front-facing seats with a harness until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight limit.
  • School-Aged Children: booster seats and a properly fitting seat belt.
  • Older Children: when the seat belt can fit safely and comfortably on the lap and shoulder without the use of a booster, then they can use a seat belt only.

It’s important to remember that the proper use of safety restraints has been proven to reduce the amount of serious and fatal injuries. Considering this, it is crucial to encourage this behavior in your children early on.

3. How to Make an Emergency Kit

Although we never expect to be stranded somewhere or get into an accident, preparing for the worst case scenario can only help you. One of the most efficient and simple ways to do this is to keep an emergency kit with supplies that can be useful in a variety of situations. This can be as large as you want it to be, but here are some great items to include:

  • Jumper cables.
  • Medical supplies: bandages and gauze, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, cloth tape, etc.
  • Reflective signs or flares.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Scissors/seatbelt cutter and window breaker.

You may also choose to have non-perishable food and water bottles, a blanket or coat, and a towing strap just in case. There are endless ways that you can create one, and checking on your supplies every six months can help avoid using expired or defective items. You can find more suggestions from the National Safety Council here.

In Case of Emergency, Call (662) 269-6188

Our Mississippi attorneys have a vested interest in keeping your family safe on the roads, and when the unexpected happens, it’s important to keep calm and contact an attorney if any injuries occur. If you or a loved one is injured during your summer trip, call (662) 269-6188 to get in touch with the team at Vollor Law Firm, P.A.. We provide compassionate and aggressive representation and will work with you to achieve the maximum compensation for your case.