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As summer approaches, many people are already planning their summer vacations.

However, traveling during the summer or over a holiday weekend can be stressful.

Our experienced Georgia personal injury lawyers share some important summer travel safety tips.

If you were injured in an accident, please don’t hesitate to call (706) 354-4000 or reach us online today. We offer free consultations.

Georgia Summer Travel Tips

Summer is right around the corner, and in Georgia, there are many events to choose from, including the Georgia Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, the 64th Annual Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament in Callaway Gardens, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park.

With summer break approaching, let’s review some travel tips.

Secure Your Home

This travel safety tip is one of the most important because your home is your haven. Many homes have some type of security system, including cameras, motion detectors, and alarms. If your home has a security system, make sure you arm it before you leave. If you do not have a security system, consider asking a neighbor, friend, or family member to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.

To prevent someone from stealing your mail or noticing that you’re away because the mail is piling up, have a trusted relative or friend come by to collect it while you’re gone. Or, you can have your local post office hold your mail until you return. 

When away from your home for an extended amount of time, you may not want to announce to your entire Facebook friend list that you are out of town – especially if you are connected to people you don’t know well or your profile is set to public. Save the vacation photo posts for after you have returned home.

Service Your Car

Driving is a standard mode of transportation for summer travel. If you plan on traveling by vehicle, it’s important your car is operational.

Take your vehicle to your local mechanic and have them run a full diagnostic, including the following:

  • Brake check
  • Tire pressure
  • Coolant
  • Transmission 
  • Engine
  • Spark plugs
  • Battery health

Consider investing in roadside assistance or an automatic vehicle accident detection service such as OnStar, which uses built-in vehicle sensors to detect a crash and send a message to emergency personnel. It also allows you to connect with a specialist if you get a flat tire or run out of gas on a vacant road.

Be aware that roads can be dangerous during summer months due to excess travelers. The Georgia Department of Public Safety reported that the Georgia State Patrol investigated 11 fatal traffic collisions, and local law enforcement investigated five fatal crashes during last year’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer. Five hundred traffic crashes occurred during that period, with over 200 injuries. Also, nearly 400 people were arrested for driving under the influence.

Always be vigilant, especially on the road.

Have a Travel Plan

No matter how you are traveling, know where you’re going and how to get there. If traveling by plane, know your gate, departure time, and how early you must be at the airport for check-in.

Know the departure time and platform if you travel by train. If you’re driving, know what gas stations and rest stops are along your route. It’s also a good idea to map out alternative routes and stops in case of closures or excessive traffic. Apps such as Waze or Google Maps can help you navigate unknown territories and redirect you when there are unexpected accidents or road detours. 

Book your hotel accommodation early and confirm your reservation beforehand to avoid any issues. Don’t forget to book transport to and from the airport or train station.

Avoid Driver Fatigue

Getting overtired can be a serious issue for travelers, especially for drivers. Driver fatigue can cause severe crashes on the roadways. One second of not looking at the road can cause a crash with catastrophic injuries or fatalities. 

Fatigue can also contribute to slow response times or impaired judgment, which can cause a collision.

If you’re traveling a long distance, use rest stops or hotel stays to recharge. Staying hydrated is another important factor because the weather can get hot in the summer. Dehydration can cause fatigue, confusion, and slower cognitive ability. Of course, if you are traveling with a companion, take turns driving.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

In addition to being one of our essential summer travel safety tips, being aware of your surroundings is a good life lesson. However, tourists are particularly vulnerable to being victims of crime during a vacation.

Pickpockets see tourists as easy targets with a high probability of carrying cash. Keep your purse or bag secure around your arm. Consider using a crossbody bag with a zipper rather than a snap. Also, if leaving your purse, phone, laptop, or other valuable items in the car, make sure they are covered, placed in the glove compartment or trunk, or out of eyesight.

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