Summer is a time when adults and children alike take time to go on road trips, visit the local beach, spend time with friends or go on a family vacation. When traveling by car, truck, RV, SUV or motorcycle, it is important to put safety first. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report with "Cool Tips for a Safe Summer Trip" to inform travelers of steps they can take to avoid accidents and vehicle breakdowns.
Regularly maintaining and inspecting your vehicle can help you avoid a breakdown and even an accident. In addition to keeping your oil changes, tire rotations and tune-ups to manufacturer standards, it is a good idea to look over your vehicle before you leave. Check your tire pressure and fluid levels before you leave on a long road trip. Make sure your headlights, taillights and turn signals are all working. Look under the hood to make sure all of your belts and hoses are connected. If you are driving and a warning light comes on or your vehicle begins making strange noises or responding abnormally, pull over to the side of the road and check it out.
If you have children, make sure your car seats or booster seats are properly installed and secure. Be particularly aware when you are traveling with children, not only because they can prove to be a distraction if they are not properly entertained (or if you don't take enough breaks while on the road), but because you may place them in danger of heat stroke if you leave them unattended in the vehicle.
When you're on the road, make sure you pay attention to the task at hand. Do not allow yourself to be distracted while driving, avoiding cell phone use, eating, drinking and similar behaviors. Always wear your safety belt and demand that passengers do the same. Obey traffic laws at all times and do not drink and drive.
Following these tips can help you and your family experience a safer, happier summer.