Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and is one of the most heavily-trafficked weekends of the year. According to AAA estimates, more than 34 million people drove to their Memorial Day destinations last year. More traffic means an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
Consider these safe driving tips to ensure you and your passengers reach your destination safely.
- Drive sober: Summer means parties, barbecues, and camping trips and for many adults – maybe a cocktail or two. Every day in this country, 28 people are killed in car accidents involving an impaired driver. If you plan to drink, enlist a designated driver or a hired car service to do the driving.
- Put the phone down: Research shows that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Looking away from the road for as little as five seconds is the same as driving blindfolded the entire length of a football field. Several cell phone apps are available to prevent cell phone use whenever the vehicle is in motion.
- Take care of your car: A well-maintained car is safer and less likely to become disabled during your Memorial Day weekend road trip. Keep up with regular oil changes. Check your tires for proper inflation and your wipers for wear and tear on a regular basis. Make sure all fluids are topped off and your windows are free of dust and dirt that may limit visibility.
- Obey the speed limit: Speeding drivers are not just breaking the law; they are endangering themselves and others. Speeding increases a driver’s chance of losing control of the car, intensifies the severity of a collision, and reduces the effectiveness of seat belts and other safety features.
- Check the weather: An unexpected change in weather can add time to a road trip, sometimes making drivers more inclined to speed up and engage in other unsafe driving habits. Drivers should increase their following distance and reduce speeds on wet roads.
- Plan for emergencies: It is always smart to keep a well-stocked emergency kit on board, in case you break down, or become involved in an accident and have to wait for assistance. Keep a flashlight, blankets, water, non-perishable snacks, and hazard cones or lights in your emergency kit.
This Memorial Day weekend can be the start of a safe and memorable summer. Remember these safe driving tips and make them part of your everyday routine to keep you and your loved ones safe during every trip.
Most drivers and fellow passengers are involved in a car accident at some point. Thankfully, many accidents are minor fender benders that do not result in serious injuries. Yet more serious car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries resulting in hospitalization, surgeries, and a lengthy recovery.
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