5 Ways To Stay Safe on Your Summer Vacation Travels
Can you believe that summer vacation is almost here — or in some places, already here? No doubt your kids are thrilled about it, and looking forward to spending more time with their friends, maybe working their first summer job, or just lazing around the house with no homework hanging over their heads!
Chances are you’d like to get the family out and about at least a few times over the summer! Whether you’re headed to the local amusement park for some thrills and spills, packing a picnic to take to the beach, or embarking on a weekend road trip, it’s important to stay safe. Read on for some summer traveling safety tips!
Be Prepared Before You Go
It’s not a bad idea to take your car in for a tune-up, especially if you’re going to be driving long distances. Make sure your tires, brakes, transmission, and other systems are in good shape. Of course, you will want to know that your air conditioning is working, and be sure to have your mechanic look over your coolant levels, to avoid stressing the engine in extreme temperatures.
Stock Up on Summer Supplies
In addition to the usual first-aid kit, tools, and other emergency supplies that you should be carrying in your vehicle, you might want to add some summer essentials to the trunk as well. Think about stocking up on items like:
- Bug spray
- Extra sunglasses
- Towels (both for unplanned dips and for protecting legs from scorching car seats)
- Windshield cover to keep the sun at bay
- Beach toys, balls, a frisbee, and a hula hoop for impromptu fun!
Another good idea that many drivers don’t often consider? Sturdy shoes for driving. A simple pair of slip-ons from the discount store will do. Although many people live in their flip-flops during the summer months, they aren’t’ the best choice for driving. The thin soles can easily get caught under pedals, posing a safety risk.
Take Extra Care to Avoid Accidents
We often think of winter time as when the most dangerous driving conditions occur, but there are some summer issues to be aware of, as well. There may be more traffic in general, but take extra precaution on holiday weekends or when there’s a big event happening — like a concert, festival, or a parade.
Not only do the number of cars n the road increase when the mercury rises, but so do the number of pedestrians, skaters, and ball players. Especially when you are driving through a residential area or near playgrounds, obey the speed limit. Keep a sharp eye out for children and adults whose recreation may spill out onto the street.
And if you hear the familiar tune of an ice-cream truck, just pull over. Kids sometimes forget to look both ways when there’s a cold, sweet treat at stake!
Share the Road
Motorcycle and scooter riders are another summertime phenomenon. One good tip for dealing with them? Give them the same wide berth you would a car. It’s also smart to brush up on how motorcycle riding differs from driving, so you know what to expect from them.
Remember, too, that bicyclists have the same rights as motorists. That includes the right to ride in traffic lanes. Learn more about how to drive safely and what to do if you are involved in an accident before heading out this summer.
Never Leave Children or Pets Unattended in Cars
Did you know that last year, 52 children died of heatstroke after being left alone in a hot vehicle? It’s a staggering statistic, but it’s worth mentioning if it can prevent a similar tragedy.
And in case you think those parents were just neglectful, know that over half of those deaths occurred because Mom or Dad simply forgot the child was still in the car, and went about their day. This kind of tragedy can happen to anyone.
Pets are in danger as well. Even if it’s only 60 degrees outside, the interior of a car can reach temps of up to 110, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Don’t take your dog or other pet with you if you can’t take them everywhere. And get in the habit of doing a visual sweep of the vehicle’s interior as you’re locking and leaving it to make sure no one is left behind to swelter.
Wherever you’re headed this summer, we hope you have a blast and stay safe with these warm-weather driving tips. Do you have any plans for road trips? Or will you enjoy a “staycation” or some simple hometown fun to save money this season? Let us know in the comments!