Safe Summer Driving
Today marks the official first day of summer.
We know a lot of people will be hitting the road for vacation this summer, and just wanted to share some safe summer driving tips.
Utah’s 100 deadliest days started over Memorial Day weekend, and to date, there have been 25 fatalities on Utah’s roads.
We want everyone to get where they’re going and get back home safely.
Prevention and planning takes a little time, but it will give you the added comfort of knowing your loved ones are safe.
- Perform a basic safety check. Routine car care like tune-ups, battery checks, and tire rotations are important and help with preventing breakdowns. That said, if you’re traveling long distances this summer, don’t just rely on your usual maintenance. Be sure to also check your vehicle’s tire pressure, wiper blades, fluid levels, lights, and air conditioning before you go.
- Protect your passengers. All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts. It’s the law here in Utah. When you’re traveling with a child, it’s safest for them to ride in a car seat suited for their age and size, and all children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat. If you’re having trouble finding the right car seat for your child’s age and size, you can visit safercar.gov/parents for additional tips.
- Avoid distraction.Distraction accounts for approximately 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of injury crashes. Distracted driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from driving, including cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices. Visit NHTSA’s distracted driving safety website for additional information.
- Don’t drink and drive.An average of 1 alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurred every 51 minutes in 2015. Be responsible, and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out. You can also get NHTSA’s new SaferRide mobile app from the iTunes store or Google Play. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or friend for a ride, and will even help users identify their location so they can be picked up.
- Share the road and Look Twice! Warmer weather will attract different types of roadway users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Without the protection of a car or truck, these road users are more vulnerable. Look twice for motorcycles, especially when you’re turning at intersections or into or out of driveways and parking lots. Put a safe distance – 3 or 4 seconds worth – between you and motorcyclists, and always be mindful of pedestrians or bicyclists. During long trips, take a break when driving long distances. Plan ahead for times to stop and stretch, eat healthy meals and relax, and consider stopping and staying in a hotel to recharge during longer drives.
- Observe “Move Over” Laws. Move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers assisting motorists on the side of the road. It’s the law in all 50 states. For more information on summer driving safety tips, visit: Summer Driving Tips 2017.
- Store an emergency roadside kit.Even well maintained vehicles can break down, so it’s a good idea to have a few emergency items readily accessible for your family’s road trip. In your kit, consider adding a cell phone and charger, first aid kid, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, water, and blankets. Even if you don’t have to use your kit, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have these critical items stowed in your cargo.
- Check for recalls. Even the most informed car owner may be unaware that their recalled vehicle is in need of repair. NHTSA’s free VIN Look-Up Tool lets you see if your vehicle has been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years. Visit nhtsa.gov/recallsto find out about possible safety defects in your vehicle, and help protect your loved ones and other motorists.