5 Road Trip Safety Tips
Summer vacation is in full swing and the Great American Road Trip is underway coast-to-coast. Before packing up the family and heading for open spaces, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is recommending a few simple driving tips to ensure that your journey is a safe one.
The complete rundown can be accessed at http://www.safercar.gov/SummerDrivingTips. But here are five quick things to keep in mind:
Inspect and maintain: Perform a basic safety check of your vehicle’s tire pressure, wiper blades, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning. Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns. If your vehicle has not been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, schedule a preventive maintenance checkup with your mechanic right away. Be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Stock your car: Even a well-maintained vehicle can break down, so it’s advisable to put together an emergency roadside kit to carry with you. A cell phone tops the list of suggested emergency kit contents since it allows you to call for help when and where you need it.
Keep kids safe: Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. All passengers must agree to wear their seat belts every time they are riding or driving in your vehicle. Set the example by always wearing your seat belt. All children under 13 should ride in the back seat. And be aware of the added risks that arise in warm weather. Heatstroke can occur when a child left unattended in a parked vehicle.
Share the road: Wherever you go this holiday weekend, remember that more motorists than usual will be on the road. Warmer weather attracts many types of roadway users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. While they have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as every motorist, these road users are more vulnerable because they do not have the protection of a car or truck. Leave more distance between you and a motorcycle—3 or 4 seconds worth. Motorcycles are much lighter than other vehicles and can stop in much shorter distances. Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows other road users to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
Check for recalls: No matter the season, use NHTSA’s VIN Look-up Tool at SaferCar.gov to make sure your vehicle is recall free. If it isn’t, get it fixed as soon as possible, for free. Protect yourself and the ones you love. And enjoy the trip.