For many, the summer presents an opportunity to relax, reflect and unwind. It’s a perfect time to visit friends and family, or simply plan a day trip to the beach. As such, it is typically the busiest time of the year to travel, resulting in higher gas prices and busier roadways. In addition to having to deal with the frustration of increased traffic, more drivers on the road means more obstacles to avoid and a greater chance of getting in an accident.
Before you plan your next road trip or sit in traffic, be sure to keep the following safe driving tips in mind:
One of the keys to driving safely this summer is to complete a basic evaluation of your automobile. Check your car’s brakes, mirrors, steering, blinkers, headlights, tires and battery before venturing out. Make sure that your vehicle has no major issues that could result in a breakdown and put a serious damper on your plans. If you receive any messages (i.e. low tire pressure) on your dashboard, make sure to address them as soon as possible.
Also, be sure that your registration and inspection stickers are up to date to avoid being pulled over. Before long trips, fill up your tank and be sure to monitor your fuel levels periodically.
Safe driving means driving defensively, especially in New England. Refrain from texting, fidgeting with your radio or otherwise taking your eyes off the road. If you need something, ask the person in the passenger seat for assistance. Also make sure that everyone, including yourself, is buckled up and that small children are fastened properly within their car seats.
Safe driving also means taking sufficient breaks to make sure that you stay alert and responsive, both physically and mentally. On longer trips, consider switching off if another passenger is willing to take the wheel with you. If all occupants are equally exhausted, crash at a motel or hotel for the night.
Finally, obey all speed limits and traffic signs to limit your chances of getting in an accident.
Bring the Essentials
Before you head out, be sure to pack an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, spare tire (if room) and jack, cell phone charger, and jumper cables. If you subscribe to a roadside assistance service such as AAA, have the number on speed dial in the event of an emergency. Bringing plenty of drinks and snacks are also a good idea.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can spend more time enjoying your summer vacation with friends and family.