Safety Tips for Summer Drivers
School is out, the heat is on, and that means one thing: The season of the road trip has officially arrived.
The California Office of Traffic Safety wants to take this time to remind drivers to plan ahead, stay safe and make smart choices traveling this summer.
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind before hitting the road:
· Plan your route, estimate your travel time and make others aware of your plans prior to hitting the road.
· Be prepared for unforeseen delays, including roadwork or detours.
· Look into road conditions prior to the start of your trip. To view real-time highway conditions, visit www.dot.ca.gov.
Check Your Vehicle
· Inspect your tires (including the spare) for good tread and proper inflation.
· Confirm that your A/C is working properly, and thoroughly check your vehicle’s engine, battery, fluids, hoses and belts.
· Clean the windows (inside too) to ensure optimal visibility, and be sure to test all lights and wipers.
· Always consider a simple inspection by a qualified technician if you’re unsure of your vehicle’s condition. Just a few dollars upfront can prevent costly expenses later, in addition to providing reassurance and a safe arrival to your destination.
· Don’t forget to assemble an emergency roadside kit. For a list of what to include, visit www.ots.ca.gov/roadside_emerg_kit.asp.
Make Safe Choices
· Always avoid performing a tire change or repair work on a freeway shoulder. If possible, exit the highway and move out of traffic lanes.
· If you think you may be consuming alcohol at any point, ALWAYS plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
· Do not hesitate to call 911 if you see a drunk or dangerous driver on the road. Using your cell for this is legal and encouraged.
Keep Passengers in Mind
· Ensure young passengers are using the correct child seat, and confirm that it is installed correctly. Visit www.ots.ca.gov/Child_Passenger_Safety.asp prior to the start of your trip for car seat safety and installation tips.
· Remember to plan ahead to keep children occupied and the driver focused. Pack plenty of snacks, toys, books or DVDs to keep them busy, and cool drinks in preparation for the heat.
· Don’t forget to keep children under 12 in the backseat.
· NEVER leave a child alone in a vehicle, even with the windows open. A parked vehicle can reach 120 degrees inside when outside temperatures are only in the 80s.
· Do not text, talk, “app”, or adjust your cell phone GPS while driving. Anything beyond one tap or swipe is against the law and dangerous.
· Allow enough time to stop for breaks, food or just time to rest. Consider switching driving duties with a passenger if you begin to feel tired or fatigued.
Not sure what to pack in your roadside emergency kit? Look here for a primer.