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Summer Road Trip Health and Safety Tips

Gas prices are relatively low, and many families will be hitting the road instead of booking flights for their summer vacation plans. Whether you’re just driving from point A to point B or making a vacation out of the journey itself, keep these safety tips in mind.

Driver Distraction

Navigating unfamiliar roads has only become easier as GPS apps become more accurate and more widely available. Still, have a navigator who isn’t driving ready to read off directions, change the route, or check the ETA. Assign a designated texter to respond to any messages you might get while driving.

Driver Fatigue

When driving a long distance, it’s recommended to take at least a short break every 4 hours. Try not to drive during hours when you would normally be sleeping, and don’t rely on caffeine or other tricks like blasting the AC to stay awake. If you are too tired to stay alert, the only safe option is to pull over and get some rest.

Proper Seatbelt Use

During a road trip, sleeping passengers are not uncommon. Kids should fall asleep in a seated position with the seatbelt on properly. Teach them how to recline the chairs and use pillows so that they can nap without compromising either the lap belt or the shoulder belt.

Securing Pets

Unsecured pets can become dangerous projectiles when a vehicle stops suddenly. In a crash, it’s unlikely they’ll survive the impact, and they could cause injuries if they hit another passenger or the windshield. Check out this guide for options to secure your pet safely in the car.

Teen Drivers

If your teen is legally allowed to take the wheel, you might consider handing over the keys. A responsible teen can relieve parents who have been driving for a long shift and need a break. For younger teens with a learner’s permit, a road trip can help fulfill driving hour requirements. Make sure you know the laws in each state regarding teen drivers, and go over your expectations with them.

When you drive with your family this summer, take the opportunity to set a positive, focused, defensive driving example. More than anything else, this will encourage safe driving behavior in your kids.

Posted in Blog on July 12th, 2017