With summer fast approaching and waves of heat bouncing off the asphalt, a few hours of prep could save you from hours of being stuck on the side of the road, a big repair bill, or even a ruined vacation. Whether you have a trip planned or you’re just planning to stick around town this summer, give some thought to ensure safe travels while driving.
- Plan Your Trip
Plan, map, and estimate the duration of your trip ahead of time – and let others know your plans. Be prepared! You can estimate the cost of gas for your trip, check road conditions, and expect to encounter roadwork, delays, and detours.
- Prepare Your Vehicle
Checking your tires is crucial, as proper inflation and good tread can save money, time, and lives (Don’t forget the spare!). Inspect your vehicle’s engine, battery, hoses, belts, and fluids for wear and proper levels. Check the AC, lights, and wipers and make sure to clean your windows. It’s also smart to prepare an Emergency Roadside Kit, including jumper cables, a flashlight, and plenty of bottled water.
- Always Play it Safe
First and foremost: Buckle up, every time. If you have a flat tire, engine problems, or a fender bender, drive out of traffic lanes and off the highway if possible. Always plan ahead and use a Designated Sober Driver. If you see drunk or dangerous drivers, it is legal and encouraged for you to call 911.
- Focus on the Road
It’s not safe to text or talk on your cell phone while driving. If you need to make a call, check road or weather conditions, or respond to a text, wait until you stop in safe place, such as a rest stop or parking lot. Also, avoid programming your mobile GPS while driving; either have a passenger do it or stop in a safe place. Share the driving with other passengers to avoid fatigue. It’s vital to rest, as driving while drowsy can be fatal. Schedule your trip to allow for frequent breaks. Take time to pull over at rest stops to stretch your legs and clear your head. You should stop for food and drinks but avoid eating while driving. Do not drive while angry – aggressive driving kills.
- Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car
An outside temperature of 101 degrees can easily result in an interior temperature of 140 degrees, so do not leave a child unattended in your vehicle – even with the windows slightly open. If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, you should call 911. Always lock your car and make sure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. It’s also essential to teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
These 5 tips shouldn’t be taken lightly, as they could potentially save lives! Plan a fun and safe summer for yourself and others by simply following these tips to drive safer this summer. It’s worth it.