With summer currently in full swing, you may be planning family vacations involving long-distance driving trips to new destinations to discover and enjoy, or simple car rides to the beach or park.
But while these excursions with family and friends can create awesome memories, being distracted by scenic locales and visiting unfamiliar places can lead to car accidents if you’re not attentive of your surroundings.
So, whether you’re navigating a long-distance family trip or just driving through your neighborhood, here are some summertime driving tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
Keep your vehicle well-maintained
Your vehicle breaking down during a trip along a busy highway or in isolated areas is not only inconvenient, it can lead to an unsafe traffic safety situation. Proper car maintenance goes a long way toward preventing these situations.
Before starting that long commute, make sure your vehicle had a tune-up, oil change, and that the tires are rotated and properly inflated. If your vehicle has not been serviced regularly, arrange a maintenance checkup to look for problems before heading out on your trip.
Don’t drive distracted
Don’t look down at your cell phone while driving to check for travel directions or view map apps. Your eyes should be on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind focused on the task of driving. This is definitely important especially when driving in unfamiliar areas.
Stay Awake And Alert
During long-distance trips, stop along the way to stretch and take a break from the road, get something to eat and drink, return any calls or text messages while parked, and switch drivers if you’re feeling tired or drowsy. It may be best to stay overnight at a hotel or family resort if you get too tired to drive.
Watch for pedestrians and cyclists
Watch for pedestrians and those riding two-wheeled vehicles (i.e. bicycles and motorcycles) during vacation season. With schools out for the summer, expect to see more keiki walking and riding their bikes in your neighborhood. And expect more walkers and bicyclists on the roadways leading to the beaches and parks. Always remember that pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable in an accident because they are not protected inside a car or truck.
Never, Ever Drink And Drive
This important safety tip should be followed year-round, but travelers usually let their guard down and drink alcoholic beverages to relax at summer cookouts or while on vacation. If you’ve been drinking and plan to drive afterwards, let someone else who has not consumed alcohol take over behind the wheel.
Remember that designated drivers and non-drinkers can still have fun this summer and throughout the year by enjoying some of Hawaii’s Best Mocktails. Visit www.dtric.com/mocktails for more information.