According to the Boston Herald, more than 400 people died on Massachusetts roads last year. Summer is the perfect time for hitting the road and embarking on exciting road trips. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a long cross-country adventure, it’s important to prioritize safety while enjoying the journey. Here are some tips for safe and enjoyable summer driving.
- Get your vehicle ready: Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Check the oil, brakes, tires, and other essential systems. If you’re going on a long trip, consider getting a professional inspection to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy.
- Plan your route: Plan your route ahead of time, including rest stops, meals, and accommodations. Check for road closures, construction zones, and weather conditions along your route. A well-thought-out plan can help you stay on track and avoid unnecessary delays.
- Take breaks and rest: Long hours of driving can be tiring, so taking regular breaks and getting enough rest is crucial. Fatigue can impair your reaction time and decision-making skills, increasing the risk of accidents. Take breaks every two hours or 100 miles, and get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road.
- Wear your seatbelt: This may seem obvious, but wearing your seatbelt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself in case of an accident. Please ensure everyone in your vehicle always wears their seatbelt, regardless of how short the trip may be.
- Stay focused on driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Avoid using your phone, texting, or engaging in other activities that take your attention away from the road. If you need to use your phone or GPS, pull over to a safe location before doing so.
- Stay within the speed limit: Speeding is a major factor in many accidents. Observe posted speed limits and adjust your speed to match the road conditions. Remember, arriving at your destination safely is better than rushing and risking an accident.
- Stay hydrated and have snacks: Like any other season, staying hydrated is important for safe driving. Dehydration can affect your concentration and alertness. Keep plenty of water and healthy snacks on hand to stay hydrated and maintain energy levels.
- Be prepared for emergencies: Pack an emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra water, a spare tire, a jack, and jumper cables. Also, ensure you have a fully charged phone, a map or GPS, and a roadside assistance plan in case of unexpected situations.
- Be cautious in extreme weather: Summer can bring severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, and intense heat. Be careful while driving in adverse weather and adjust your driving accordingly. If the weather becomes too severe, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.
- Enjoy the journey: Road trips are about exploring new places and creating memories. Take time to enjoy the journey and the scenery along the way. Take breaks to stretch your legs, take pictures, and soak in the experience.
Remember these summer driving safety tips to ensure that your road trip is enjoyable and safe. Most importantly, enjoy the journey and have a memorable summer road trip!