Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Traveling Safety

     Summer consists of more than grilling out and poolside activities; this is the season for families and friends to plan their summer travels. A popular way to arrive at vacation spots is to drive there. Even though summer driving may seem less strenuous than winter driving, it is important to remember the risks we take when driving in nice weather too.

     Butch Rhoderick, Director of Security at Meritus Health, discussed some prominent summer traveling woes. He said, “Common summertime driving dangers include distracted driving, surprise thunderstorms, more pedestrians and bicyclists on or around roadways and younger inexperienced drivers on the road as compared to when school is in.”
     Rhoderick had some great advice about how to prepare for a road trip. He said, “Have several routes of travel mapped out, leave plenty of time, pack a cooler with snacks and drinks, make sure your cell phone is charged in case of an emergency and start out with a full tank of gas.”

    People tend to travel a lot more in the summer which can increase the safety hazards of your vehicle. Before going on that summer vacation, it is important to check the maintenance of the vehicle a person intends to drive for those longer distances.

     The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it is important to have a vehicle safety checklist.

It is important to check the following parts of your vehicle:
· Tires

· Belts and hoses

· Wiper blades

· Cooling system

· Fluid levels

· Lights

· Air conditioning

     After a vehicle check up is complete, it is vital to continue reducing risk while on the road. NHTSA said it is important to avoid driving tired. Make sure when planning a road trip, that breaks are taken often (this will help with fatigue). Sharing the road is especially important when the presence of motorcyclists and pedestrians increases during the warmer months.

NHTSA gives important tips about how to share the road
Always be on the look out for motorcyclists’. When we are more aware we are more likely to prevent accidents with motorcyclists.
When following a motorcycle, leave more distance between your car and the motorcycle.
Keep in mind it is difficult to estimate a motorcyclists speed.

Beware of bad driving behavior

Distracted driving
NHTSA said, “Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction.”
Buckle Up
An individual is much safer in a seatbelt if faced with an accident compared to someone who is not buckled up.
Drunk Driving
Always have a designated driver. NHTSA said, “Every 45 minutes, or 32 times a day, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash.”

     Summer is a wonderful time of year to appreciate what nature has to offer. Once the car is packed and ready for the vacation road trip, keep in mind the simple things people can do to avoid accidents while traveling to their summer destination.

By: Meghan Burket

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