Summer is now in full swing, which means many more adults, children and families will be traveling on our roadways. This includes excursions to the park or beach, long-distance family vacation drives, and more bicyclists and walkers on our roads and in our neighborhoods.
Whether you’re on a long-distance family trip or just cruising through your neighborhood, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some summer driving tips for you:
Tip #1. Eyes on the road at all times.
Simply put, don’t drive distracted. Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, with your focus on driving and your immediate surroundings. This is not only important when you are driving through unfamiliar destinations during a road trip, but even familiar commutes in your neighborhood when sometimes drivers tend to tune out and lose their mental focus. Plan your itinerary ahead of time so you aren’t distracted looking down at your cell phone for travel directions or view map apps.
Tip #2. Watch for cyclists and pedestrians.
One alarming statistic for 2018 is there have been 14 statewide pedestrian deaths so far this year. This nearly matches the 15 total pedestrian deaths suffered for all of 2017. More bicyclists, joggers and walkers are expected to be on our roadways as people take advantage of the summer weather to exercise. With students on summer break from school, expect to see a lot more children walking and riding their bikes in your neighborhood. And keep a look out for walkers and bicyclists on the roadways near the beaches and parks.
Tip #3. Keeping your vehicle well maintained.
“Preventive maintenance” is just that: Preventing your vehicle from breaking down while on the road. Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained by getting a tune-up, oil change, and making sure the tires are rotated and properly inflated BEFORE heading out. Getting stuck on the side of the freeway or highway is not only an inconvenience; it can also be dangerous dealing with passing traffic. So keep your car running smoothly to avoid these situations.
Tip #4. Staying alert on long drives.
During long-distance trips, make periodic stops along the route to stretch and take a break from driving, get something to eat and drink, return any phone calls or text messages while parked, and rotate drivers if you’re feeling drowsy. If you become too tired to drive, it is advised to stay overnight at a family resort or motel wherever possible.
And don’t forget to buckle up! DRIVE with ALOHA this summer and all year-round!