From overheated passengers to a breakdown on the highway, a long summer drive can easily go awry and set a negative tone for the rest of your summer vacation. However, highway mishaps can be prevented, or at least prepared for, by planning ahead before heading out and practicing safety first while on the road.
Whether your summer getaway is a cross-country road trip or a short drive to the beach, take the time to review these summer driving safety tips to make sure your summer travel plans go off without a hitch:
- Check your vehicle’s tires, belts and hoses under the hood, wiper blades, cooling system, fluid levels, lights, and air conditioning before your hit the road
- Place all children under the age of 13 in the backseat and infants, toddlers, and young children in well-fitted, properly installed car or booster seats
- Make sure everyone wears a seat belt at all times
- Keep the A/C running to prevent your vehicle from getting too hot
- Bring snacks and plenty of water so that everyone stays hydrated
- Pack toys, books, and other activities to keep children entertained
- Avoid fatigue by sharing driving duty and making regular stops, whether to stretch, use the restroom, grab a snack, or explore
- Be aware of your blind spots
- Expect and share the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
- Avoid distracting activities, such as texting and other cell phone use
- Never drink and drive
Remember that breakdowns, accidents, and other emergencies can occur no matter how many preventative measures you take. In case of emergencies, bring along a roadside kit containing items that might come in handy, including but not limited to a cell phone, first aid kit and medicines, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire and a jack, basic repair tools, water and paper towels for clean-up, nonperishable food and drinking water, maps, and a change of clothes.
For more summer driving safety tips and emergency kit items, visit www.safecar.gov.