Summer is here and we are all thinking about enjoying the longer days and wonderful weather with a road trip or two. Planning our summer driving trips involves choosing possible destinations, working out expenses for gas, accommodations, food, admissions and ticket costs. Safe Summer Driving Tip #1 – This is no time to forget vehicle safety checks, preventative maintenance is an expense, in fact, very worth the extra money at vacation time. If we consider the cost of a car break-down or accident, far from home, possibly ruining our vacation plans, the cost of safe summer driving has value beyond the price of seasonal car upkeep and replacement parts.
- Have your car checked for wear on your brake pads
- Radiator fluids, summer coolant mix changed from the winter anti-freeze
- Other fluids like power steering and oil should be changed or topped off
- Safety check on tire tread, good brakes and tires with good grip can save your family’s life
- Check that all seat belts and air bags are functioning effectively
- Headlights, tail-lights, emergency signals, and brake lights need to be fully operational
- Check your the vehicle recall list to see if your car has any listings, important safety facts you need to know
Some of these list items you can do yourself, but trust the essential safety checks to a trusted professional.
On the Road Safety for Summer Trips with Kids
Vacations and road trips are safer when everyone complies with rules of driving safety, like no drinking and driving, obeying the speed limits wherever you travel, and everyone must wear a seat belt when a vehicle is in motion. Keeping children safe while driving long distances is key to being ready in case of an emergency, learn ways to get your kids to cooperate with the seat belt laws. Safe Summer Driving Tip #2 – Safety inside the vehicle is just as critical as safety outside the vehicle. Distractions, cell phones, fatigue, allergy medication drowsiness, and children refusing to wear their seat belts during a long trip are a leading cause of accidents and deaths every summer.
Beware of dangers to children in and around vehicles:
- Seat belt entanglement
- Roll-away vehicles: never leave car keys in the ignition when leaving the car, apply the emergency brake
- Power windows can jam little fingers or heads
- Heatstroke while waiting inside a car
Watch Out for Motorcycles:
Keeping a constant eye on the rear view and side mirrors insures no surprises on unfamiliar roads and freeways. Be sure to allow motorcycles their own space on highway lanes. When exiting a car, teach kids to wait for your ok before opening doors to be sure there are no cars, motorcycles, or bicyclists passing by. Go to http://www.safercar.gov/summerdrivingtips for more fun and info about safe summer driving tips.