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Tips for Driving This Summer in Montana

Places like Florida and California may make the news more often for their reckless drivers, but Montana is one of the deadliest states for drivers per capita. Montana has consistently exceeded the national car accident fatality rate per 100,000 population – some years more than doubling it. As a driver in Montana, reduce your risk of a crash and need of a car accidents lawyer every way you can, especially during the summer months when more vacationers are on the road. Follow these safe-driving tips to keep yourself crash-free.

Know Your Destination

Whether you’re planning a road trip to Glacier National Park or want to drive along the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road this summer, plan out your trip ahead of time. You might pass through scenic views of gorges, waterfalls, glaciers, and the Continental Divide on your way. Prepare for these landscapes by researching your destination. Know the weather, the typical traffic, and what to expect on the roads. For example, trucks and heavy RVs cannot travel on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Call information services to find out about road conditions before you head out.

The more prepared you are for the drive ahead, the safer you can make your trip. Otherwise, surprises could blindside you and ruin your trip – or even cause a car accident. Don’t get lost on a confusing detour because you took the wrong road or are stuck on the side of the road after your car overheats in the hot weather. Prepare yourself, your family, and your vehicle for the route you plan on taking well in advance.

Maintain Your Car

Summer vehicle maintenance is different from winter maintenance. Take your vehicle to the shop before hitting the open road. Tire pressure, tread, radiator fluid, and other vehicle parts have unique needs when temperatures rise. A thorough maintenance check can help detect any issues before you end up stranded on the side of the road. Failing to properly take care of your vehicle, resulting in a related accident, could lead to liability for damages and increased insurance premiums. Be extra cautious about your vehicle overheating in the warmer summer season.

Watch Out for Pedestrians

When the sun comes out in Montana, so do the people. Be extra cautious driving around neighborhoods, residential streets, parks, and popular summer destinations this summer. These areas are likely to have many people and bicyclists out and about this time of year – especially children, who are prone to darting out in front of traffic. Remain careful around schools as well. Even though general sessions are out, summer school is in full swing. Make up for an increase in human activity by slowing down and staying alert.

Slow Down for Roadway Hazards

Summertime has many unique hazards one might encounter on the road – roadway construction projects, the heat making cracks in the asphalt, moves resulting in items such as TVs and couches on the side of the road increased animal activity – the list could be endless. Keep your eyes peeled for unusual and dangerous items and debris in the road during the sunny summer months. Staying vigilant, obeying the speed limit, and eliminating distracted driving can minimize your odds of colliding into roadway defect or a crossing animal.

Don’t Text and Drive

Summer might be the perfect time to catch up with friends, plan group trips, and meet up at hotspots, but your texts and phone calls can wait. Never text and drive or use your phone for any reason behind the wheel. Not only is texting and driving against the law in many Montana municipalities, it’s reckless and could cause a serious accident. The best way to ensure you and your passengers arrive alive is to put your phone away until you’re done driving.