Summer is a great time to take a vacation or weekend trip, which means many cars, campers, motorcycles and motor homes are hitting the road, with increased potential for a problem or accident to occur.
To help make summer travel safer, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), a leading property and casualty insurance company, recommends travelers check a few things before setting out on a trip.
The Hanover offers the following tips for safe and happy summer travels.
- Be ready for the road. Inspect the tires on cars and boat trailers to make sure there is plenty of tread and they are properly inflated. Have a certified mechanic check the engine, hoses, belts, batteries, windshield, windows and fluid levels. And, be sure to pack basic emergency equipment, including jumper cables, a car jack, a flashlight and a first-aid kit.
- Pack the vehicle carefully. Take care not to obstruct the driver’s vision. Make sure luggage is properly stowed, as sudden stops can turn unsecured items into dangerous projectiles. Be sure to protect pets by using a pet barrier, harness or crate. Also, extra weight on the roof alters a car’s center of gravity and may increase the risk of a rollover, so use a properly installed roof rack or cargo bin. If towing a boat at highway speeds, use a heavy-duty boat cover with adjustable buckles.
- Buckle up. Make sure everyone in the vehicle, including the driver, uses a seatbelt. Infants and toddlers should be secured in approved, properly installed, size-appropriate car seats. The back seat is the safest place to be for children 12 and under.
- Focus on the road. Program the GPS before hitting the road. Avoid using a cell phone while driving. Even hands-free phones can be a distraction. If using a phone is a must, have a passenger handle it or pull off the road in a safe place and turn on the hazard lights. If possible, share the driving with another passenger to avoid getting too tired.
- Be prepared for sun and heat. When driving on a bright, sunny day, try to wear sunglasses to minimize eye strain. To prevent heat related-injury, never leave a child or a pet unattended inside a car.
- Check insurance coverages. Depending on existing insurance coverages and travel plans, some additional protection may be a good idea. Talk with a local independent insurance agent to make sure auto insurance policies provide adequate coverage against vehicle damage and personal injury. If renting a car or RV, it is a good idea to ask if insurance coverages still apply to rentals. A boat or an RV should also be insured, both on and off the water and road. Consider adding a roadside assistance plan and trip interruption insurance, in case a vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident.
Summer is the time for family fun, so don’t let simple safety measures go overlooked. Enjoy the Summer!