Take Precautions for a Safe Summer Road Trip
Dreaming of the perfect summer getaway? You can see it now: Cruising on the open road, strolling on the beach or camping under the stars—but a trip to the ER or getting stranded at a service station? That’s definitely not part of the plan! Below are six pre-road safety tips to make sure nothing spoils your summer trip.
1. Be Rested Before You Roll. Ladies, we all know that just getting out the door can be exhausting, but being tired when you get behind the wheel is a risky move. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 accidents annually. Make sure you are well rested before you drive and try to rotate drivers every few hours.
2. Get Your Ride Ready. Before you hit the road, make sure your car is ready for the trip. Check your hoses and belts to make sure they aren’t about to spring a leak or snap. Your battery should be fully functioning, and of course, your brakes, too. Always make sure your lights work, your fluids are topped off, your tire pressure is OK and your gas tank is full. You don’t want to rely on faith and fumes to make it to the next service station.
3. Safe Child Seating is No Accident. Since their invention, child safety seats have been a blessing—and a mystery. The folks at safekids.org warn that eight out of 10 child safety seats are not installed 100 percent correctly. This can put your child at serious risk for injury or death. Play it safe and call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK to find a nearby location for a free safety seat inspection. It’s also a good idea to review some basic safety procedures with children before hitting the road.
4. Don’t Forget to Protect Your Furry Family. You want to make sure you are being a good “mom” to your pets. If you have to stop quickly, Fluffy or Fido can become a flying projectile and injure you, get hurt or cause an accident. Take pet-specific precautions to reduce risks. You can use a seatbelt harness to keep your pet restrained or a pet barrier that keeps your little angel safe behind the rear seat.
5. Know Before You Go. Unlike men, women don’t hesitate to ask directions—but knowing your driving route might not be enough. It’s a good idea to plan in advance when and where you will be making food and restroom breaks. Know the major roads you will be using so if you hear an interstate is closed for an accident, you can take an alternate route. Also, if you are staying overnight on your trip, make reservations in advance so you won’t be looking for a hotel when you are most tired.
6. Have a Safety Stash. As the Boy Scouts say, be prepared for the unexpected. Bring things like water, warm blankets, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, tools to change a tire and a full charged cell phone. That way, if something goes wrong, you’ll be ready to handle it.
By thinking about these safety travel tips in advance, you can enjoy your journey, take in the sights and make your time on the road more enjoyable.
Content provided by George Palatine, Allstate Auto Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL
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