NHTSA: Drive smart this summer
With Memorial Day weekend looming, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a number of tips that can help make navigating America’s highways and byways a bit safer for everyone as we continue on through the summer vacation season.
Be prepared for the rigors of the road
Topping NHTSA’s to-do list is to make sure your vehicle is ready to take on whatever challenges may lie ahead by having all basic maintenance preformed and then checking on all of its operating systems. That includes evaluating the condition of things like the exterior lights, battery, air conditioning and wiper blades as well as topping up all fluid levels and ensuring the tires are in good shape and properly inflated.
In addition to that kind of conventional preventative measures, NHTSA also advises every owner to stop by the www.nhtsa.gov/recalls site to make sure there are no outstanding recalls on the vehicle. It’s also wise to pack an emergency roadside breakdown kit that contains basic first aid items, a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, water and blankets as well as an emergency cell phone and charger.
When the time comes to actually head out on the road, make sure everyone is properly belted in and that younger passengers are strapped into the appropriate child seats. NHTSA also recommends that anyone under the age of 13 only ride in the back seat or seats. While not drinking and driving goes without saying, its equally critical to avoid all forms of distracted driving–a factor that currently accounts for 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 15 percent of all vehicular-related injuries.
With increased traffic density, NHTSA notes it’s also important to stay alert when you’re driving and also maintain safe distances between vehicles as well as keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists. Always observe “Move Over” laws that help prevent injuries to maintenance crews or law enforcement officers. And if you do feel fatigue starting to set in, pull over for a quick break. More information on making your vacation even safer and less stressful can be found in NHTSA’s Summer Driving Tips 2017.