With the Memorial Day weekend officially kicking off summer, here are five road rules from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to keep those summer trips safe:
- Before you get behind the wheel, ask yourself how you are feeling. Are you tired, or sick, or drowsy? Have you been drinking? If you think your driving may be impaired, think twice before starting your trip–no matter how short.
- Ask yourself how your car is feeling too. Are you up-to-date on maintenance, are your tires inflated properly and does your windshield give you a clear view of the road?
- Avoid distracted driving. Whether it’s kids fighting in the back of the car, switching radio stations or texting while driving, distracted driving accounts reportedly accounts for 18% of all accidents. There are three types of distracted driving: 1) taking your hands off the wheel, 2) taking your eyes of the road and 3) taking your mind off driving. Awareness is the first step, so visit http://www.distraction.gov/index.html to learn more about this important factor in keeping you and your family safe.
- Practice defensive, safe driving tactics including buckling your seat belt, being aware of other drivers, maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you and observing speed limits and traffic signals.
- Be prepared. What is the weather like? Is a storm likely? Do you have emergency supplies in the car like water, a first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, map and a roadside safety kit? For a checklist of items you should keep in your car, visit http://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/PH/docs/Car_Emergency_Kit_Checklist.pdf