June is National Safety Month. During the month-long observance, organizations share tips and resources for helping people avoid accidents on the roads. June is also the beginning of summer, the busiest season for driving in the country. As people take to the roadways for summer trips, accidents increase. If you’re planning a road trip this summer, follow these safety tips.
- Check the condition of your vehicle before you start your trip, especially a long one. Check the brakes and tires, and make sure that the fluids are topped off.
- Avoid driving when you lack sleep. Drinking caffeinated beverages will not provide a long-lasting solution. While you may feel alert directly after taking caffeine, the effects will recede after a while. And caffeine can also make you jittery, which could affect your focus.
- For long trips, drive with a companion. Your passenger can keep an eye on you and the road. You can also switch off to relieve driving fatigue. When driving alone, put on some music and avoid using cruise control, especially at night. Cruise control can lead to drowsiness.
- Take frequent breaks when you are driving alone and lack sleep. If you need to, you can take a short nap during your stop.
- Avoid pulling onto the shoulder to rest. Move your vehicle off the road instead. There are rest stops along the freeway, which you can use for taking naps.
- Avoid consuming alcohol before a road trip. Even if you don’t get drunk, alcohol can make you sleepy.
- Get familiar with your rental car. If you rent a car, get familiar with its various features before you drive off the rental lot. Accidents can occur as the driver fumbles with the car’s unfamiliar equipment.
- Make sure that everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled up for safety.
Accidents happen, but they can be minimized if you adhere to safe driving practices.