12 Driving Tips for a Safer Summer

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Safe summer driving tips

Before you begin your trip to the beach or a long road trip with the family, be safe this Summer season by taking a few minutes to review road travel safety tips offered by Road America to help you arrive safely:

  • Check your tires for wear or damage.  Treads are considered worn out at 2/32” and can be checked by inserting a penny into the tread. If part of Lincoln’s head is is covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32” of tread depth remaining.

  • Check your owners manual or certification plate on the edge of the driver’s door for recommended tire pressure.  Too little tire pressure will eventually cause dangerous tire failure, reduces fuel efficiency and reduces the life of the tire.  Checking tire pressure on hots days can be deceiving, so check the pressure in the morning before driving.

  • Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated, if traveling for long distances in remote areas consider a spare full size tire as the temporary tires have a lifespan of only 50-100 miles.

  • Avoid driver fatigue by limiting the hours behind the wheel or sharing the driving with someone else.  According to a study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, fatigue is a cause of 20% of accidents.

  • Don’t speed.  On a long trip, it can be  tempting to speed on remote open roads, but not only is it reckless, it can take emergency responders longer to discover an accident and reach you.  Every minute can be critical in emergency situations, so don’t take any chances.

  • When traveling with children, check that baby seats are properly fastened and secured in the back seat.  Find a child car seat inspection station near you.  Certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, for free in most locations, and will show you how to install and use the car seat correctly.

  • Do not use your phone or text while driving.  Pull over if you have to make an important call.  Research studies by the American Psychological Association show that when drivers use cell phones, whether hands-free or hand-held, their attention drops and driving skills become even worse than if they had too much to drink.

  • Focus on the road, driver distraction accounts for nearly 80% of all accidents.  Many things we don’t think about as distracting can instigate the split second timing it takes to get into an accident.  Prepare your trip ahead of time by taking care of the details before you leave so you can focus your awareness on safe driving.

  • When traveling with pets be sure to keep them constrained in the back seat so they do not distract the driver.  Car safety harnesses are available in pet stores and keep both pets and passengers safe.

  • Never leave pets in a parked car in the Summer months-not even for a “few minutes.” Not only is it against the law in many states, temperatures inside can reach 120 degrees within minutes even with the window cracked, and because animals do not perspire, this can very quickly lead to dehydration, brain damage or even death for your pet.

  • Keep an emergency roadside kit in your car.  Jumper cables, first aid kit, and a flashlight are some of the items you should have in your car at all times.  Roadside assistance can be a lifesaver, but there are times when your cell phone may be out of range and a roadside kit can help you get back on the road.

  • Keep a cell phone car charger at all times in your center console or glove compartment.

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