Summer is upon us and with it comes long-anticipated vacations to the beach or road trips across the country. These trips can be a great time of family bonding, but you also want to make sure you and your loved ones safe during this busy driving season.
According to the 2014 IIHS fatality facts report, August is one of the most dangerous months for car accident deaths and “in 2014, half of crash deaths occurred on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.” Vacation travel has a lot to due with the increase, in addition to other factors like more road construction projects.
As you prepare for your summer road trip, here are some tips to help keep everyone safe:
Before you leave:
- Make sure your car has a fresh oil change and the tires are properly inflated.
- Put together an emergency kit in case of a breakdown – include a first aid kit, extra blankets, a flashlight, basic tools and jumper cables.
- Check to make sure your car’s manufacturer hasn’t issued any recent recalls. You can look up recalls by your VIN number here.
- Make sure car seats are installed properly and seat belts are all in working order.
On the road:
- If you feel like you’re getting tired, stop and rest or switch drivers. Driving drowsy is very dangerous and causes numerous accidents every year.
- Keep your car cool and your sunglasses handy. If the car gets too warm or you’re squinting from the bright sunlight, you will get sleepy more quickly and easily.
- Remember to share the road. Summertime also means that more motorcyclists and bicyclists will be out on the road, so use caution when you’re driving near them.
- Don’t text and drive! Resist the urge to pick up your phone if you’re the one behind the wheel. It’s not worth the risk.
If you’d like to read more on what to do if you’re involved in a car accident this summer, check out our knowledge center articles, including: What to Do If You Are In an Out-of-State Car Accident.