As you reach the weekend and begin to prepare for a trip to the cottage, your mind will undoubtedly be on the fun and relaxation that you'll soon be experiencing. Before you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, however, you'll want to double check a variety of details that could cause problems during the drive. An accident in which you're negligent for something related to your vehicle could dampen not only your cottage getaway, but also the weeks and months ahead as you deal with legal proceedings with your car accident lawyer. Here are some details to go over.
If you're towing a boat or a cargo trailer full of gear to the cottage, you need to be sure that its lights are functional. Don't just connect the lights to the hookup on your vehicle and assume everything is working. Instead, have someone stand outside and watch as you tap the brakes and use both turn signals. If your trailer's lights aren't functional, you represent a risk to other motorists on the road. For example, another driver may hit you because it wasn't clear that you were braking, and, even though the driver may bear some responsibility, there's negligence on your behalf because of the lights.
Everything Strapped Down
Many families use roof racks and other external storage devices on their vehicles to help carry gear to the cottage. For example, you might have a cooler and a tent strapped to the roof racks and a couple of mountain bikes on a rack behind your vehicle. If one of these things were to break free while you're on the road, it could cause an accident behind you, and you'd likely face a lawsuit because of your negligence. Double checking that everything outside of the vehicle is strapped down, as well as rechecking these things whenever you stop for gas, is a good idea. If you're towing a boat, make sure that there's nothing loose inside of the boat, either.
It can be easy to overlook your boat trailer's hitch, but a problem with it could potentially cause the trailer to come away from your vehicle and wreak havoc on the road behind you. Check the condition of the hitch and also the tow chains that you're using. This is another good area to check whenever you make stops along the way. By looking after each of these tasks, you can feel confident that your drive to the cottage will be safe and that you won't be negligent if you are in an accident.