With pandemic restrictions slowly lifting across the U.S., you may be ready to take that summer vacation. Even though Americans didn’t travel as much in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimated 38,680 deaths were due to auto accidents in 2020. This is the largest projected number of deaths since the year 2007.
With summer finally here, let’s review the following driving safety tips so you and your family can have a safe and fun vacation.
1. Service Your Car
Before hitting the road, be sure to check if your vehicle has been serviced correctly according to your manufacturer. Scheduling regular maintenance for your car can help prevent breakdowns. Some safety measures you can take include servicing the cooling system, changing the oil, rotating the tires, and checking the brakes. Neglecting regular maintenance on your car could not only prevent you from traveling but also cause damages to your car in the future.
2. Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Car accidents can happen to anyone. According to the personal injury attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, accidents can happen due to “distracted driving, reckless driving, and failing to follow traffic laws.” Following basic driving safety guidelines including buckling your seatbelt, using turn signals, maintaining safe speeds, and paying attention to the road can help prevent accidents from happening.
3. Be Prepared for Extreme Heat
With summer comes extreme heat. Remember to never leave a child alone in a car, as vehicles heat up quickly. Children’s body temperatures rise 3 to 5 times faster than adults, so it is important to keep your child out of the vehicle when it is parked. Some signs of heat exhaustion include sweating, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, and headaches. Although heat exhaustion is predictable and preventable, it is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention and should not be overlooked.
4. Put Together an Emergency Kit
All vehicles have the potential of breaking down, so it is important to have an emergency kit prepared with basic supplies. Here are some suggestions to include in your roadside emergency kit:
- Duct tape
- Flares and hazard triangle
- Cell phone and charger
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Work gloves
- Tire pressure gauge
5. Stay Alert and Don’t Rush
As exciting as it is getting to your destination, take your time. If you are in need of a break or are too tired to keep driving, do not hesitate to stop. When you are tired, your reaction times are slower which could cause you to pay less attention to the road. It is also important to check the weather, road conditions, and traffic before heading out on your vacation. If you encounter a construction zone or backroad that you are unfamiliar with, take extra caution as these roads can be unpredictable.
A Safer Summer
This summer, enjoy the time with your loved ones and keep these simple car safety tips in mind. Although safety planning for a vacation will take up some of your time, it will help prevent those unwanted accidents this summer.