As the warm embrace of summer beckons, many individuals eagerly embark on vacations and road trips. Before embarking on these joyous adventures, it’s important to take a moment and familiarize yourself with essential driving safety tips. Doing this will avoid the hassles of a breakdown or, even worse, a highway accident.
Drive during Off-Peak Times
Late afternoon and early evening are typically the busiest times on the road. If you want to steer clear of heavy traffic during long weekends, it’s advisable to leave on weekdays, such as Wednesday or Thursday. This way, you can get a head start before the rush begins. To make your return journey smoother, plan to return home on Tuesday, giving yourself an additional day to avoid other holiday drivers.
Ensure Your Tires Are in Great Condition
Ensure that you don’t underestimate the significance of your tires. Take the time to ensure that each tire is inflated correctly according to the specifications provided by the vehicle manufacturer. You can locate this information in the owner’s manual or a placard on the driver’s door pillar or frame. Remember that tires naturally lose air over time, even without any punctures, which can lead to underinflation and, ultimately, tire failure.
Always Buckle Up
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 42,795 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2022. The problem is seen all across the country, from small towns to busy cities. The city of Louisville, Kentucky alone saw 36 fatalities in 2021. Therefore, to prioritize personal safety, it is crucial for all occupants of a vehicle to wear seat belts consistently. This steadfast commitment to seat belt usage reflects a fundamental principle of responsible driving behavior.
Stay Alert for Distracted Drivers
In the summer, roads tend to be crowded with distracted drivers, such as families on vacation or students going to the beach. Although distracted drivers are already dangerous, summertime can add extra distractions to the mix. So, staying alert and mindful of drivers who might not be entirely focused on the road is important. If you spot a distracted driver, it’s advisable to maintain a safe distance to ensure your safety.
Take Regular Breaks
Taking intentional and regular breaks from long hours of driving is essential for everyone in the vehicle, especially the driver. It is highly advisable to include frequent breaks in your travel plan to prevent fatigue from setting in during road trips. Drivers can rejuvenate their senses and effectively fight off tiredness by pausing every few hours and indulging in simple stretches or short walks.
Keep an Eye on Weather Forecasts
Summer weather patterns can differ depending on where you are in the country. They can include thunderstorms, sudden heavy rains that cause flash floods, and even tornadoes. These weather events can be unpredictable and may not always come with advanced warning. That’s why staying updated on the daily weather forecasts for the areas you’ll be in is important. By watching these forecasts, you can be prepared and make smart choices if unexpected changes occur.
Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses
Sunglasses are not just fashion accessories; they serve a practical purpose as well. They can help you avoid the sun’s blinding glare, which can impede visibility and potentially lead to accidents. So, remember to wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes and enhance your safety while driving.
Check Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning
In certain parts of the country, having a functioning air conditioning system in your vehicle is a necessity for a comfortable and safe journey. Without it, drivers and occupants may be exposed to dangerously hot temperatures, posing a potential risk. Therefore, ensure that your vehicle’s air conditioning system is working correctly.
Follow these essential tips and more to significantly improve your safety, as well as the safety of others while driving this summer.