Standing Up For You

Going on a summer vacation? Avoid these common road hazards

We’re in the middle of another long, hot summer. If you are like many Kentucky families, you are planning a summer road trip to break up the monotony of the summer. Whether you are headed to a cabin in the Smokies, a family reunion in the Midwest or a sunny beach on the Eastern Coast, you’ve got a lot of driving to do before getting to your destination.

As always, the goal is to arrive alive, so with that in mind, the following tips may prove helpful.

Avoiding skidding out of control

All it takes is a summer shower to turn the steamy highway roads slick. Ideally, your preparation for avoiding skids begins before you leave your own driveway. Make sure that all four tires are in good condition and filled to their recommended pressure. That alone can help them grip the road when conditions are iffy.

If, however, you do feel the vehicle begin to skid, lift your foot off the gas without braking. Conventional wisdom is to steer into the skid until you can once again regain control of your vehicle. You can also focus on something farther down the road and try to steer your car toward it. Jerking the wheel from one side to the next is a universally bad move, as is slamming on the brakes.

Getting a blowout at high speed

This is another hazard that can often be dodged with preventive maintenance. But once it happens, there’s nothing to do but take your foot off the gas and grip the wheel tightly, as your steering may be affected. Get safely to the side of the road to change your tire.

When foggy conditions prevail

Whenever any conditions affect your visibility, including fog, immediately reduce speed. Use your low beams and never your brights in the fog. Rolling down the window and turning off the music can provide you with aural clues about what might lie ahead. When at all possible, remain in your lane, as switching lanes in fog can be dangerous.

If you wind up injured in an accident on your vacation this summer, seek the medical attention you need. Then, turn your attention to the claim for damages you can file to recoup your losses.