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Nothing beats a Montana summer, especially one without a bad wildfire season, and when that fresh treasure state air is coaxing you to come out into nature and breathe it in, you most likely will need to get in the car and take a bit of a drive to visit any number of great lakes or hiking trails. Do not be so eager to get to your destination though that you forget to do a cautionary pre-trip check of your vehicle.

To aid you in getting you where you need to go we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to aid you on your journey.

  • Check that all of your lights are functioning properly, including brake lights.  Did you know that many DUI investigations are started by an officer pulling a person over for a brake light that is out?  As soon as they approach your vehicle and notice anything that may hint towards intoxication, there investigation into a brake light can convert to a totally new investigation, and that is a situation you should attempt to avoid.
  • Correctly fasten all toys to your vehicle.  You will be hard pressed on any given day to not pass a vehicle with a water toy that is precariously perched atop its roof.  Not all kayaks and bikes are fastened equally, however, and your McGyver lacking invention to holding a toy in place could prove costly if you do not properly secure it.  Take the time and few extra dollars to properly mount your recreational equipment to avoid causing an accident.
  • Have an emergency preparedness kit on hand.  We have discussed this in our winter driving blog, but it bears repeating.  In this day and age of over-gadgeted vehicles, cars break down for no apparent reason.  Should this happen to you when you’re out of service, you need to have the essentials on hand to keep you alive until someone comes.  This includes, but is not limited to, water, food, blankets, and bear spray.  Remember – if your car does break down, the safest spot to be is near it at all times, do not attempt to trek off for rescue.

This list is not exhaustive, but it is a good start to get one thinking about being thoroughly prepared for their next mini vacation.  Did you read this list too late?  Did your fourth of July freedom celebration turn into an overnight incarceration that was initiated by a broken taillight?  There’s an attorney for that!  Right here in our office.  Contact the attorneys at Bryan, diStefano & Mattingley, PLLP today to set up a consultation.