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Woo hoo! Summer is finally here! It’s time to throw off the shackles of work and school, and get out there for some fun and sun. But before you hit the road to take that much-needed summer vacation, it’s a good idea to keep some driving safety tips in mind so you and your loved ones stay safe.
By remembering a few simple tips, you can make this summer on the road the best one yet. Here’s a check list to keep you safe:
1. First thing you should do when you get into a car is to buckle up. They will keep you strapped to your seat in case of a crash. And the numbers prove it – in 2008, they saved the lives of 13,000 people.
2. Make sure the kids are secure, as car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between 3 and 12 years old. Place children aged 12 and under in the back seat, and check that child seats are installed correctly
3. Slow down. The cottage isn’t going anywhere, so keep to the posted speed limits. A heavy foot behind the wheel is a factor in about one-third of all fatal crashes, killing nearly 900 Americans every month.
4. Pay attention and keep your eyes on the road. Put the cell phones down and focus on the road – in 2009, over 5,400 people were killed due to distracted driving and 448,000 were injured.
5. Stay on top of maintenance. Before making the road trip, check your tire pressure and tread wear, fluids, and batteries. This is good advice at any time of the year, as you can catch serious problems before they happen.
6. Don’t drink and drive. We know, we’ve said this before, but in the summer, sometimes you lose track of the number of alcoholic beverages you’ve drank while on the patio or at a BBQ. So many lives can be saved if you designate a driver or take a cab.
7. Check your blind spot. Every car has one, so check your mirrors and look over your shoulder when you back up. With the kids out of school and playing outside, this is the time of year to be extra diligent.
8. Tell other motorists where you’re going by using your signals. This alerts other drivers and cyclists what your intentions are, and helps prevent mixed signals.
It’s sobering to think that in 2010, over 33,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents and many of them were preventable. Let’s all work together to bring that number down, and you can do your part by following the easy steps above.
[Source: Consumer Reports]