There’s no disputing that during the summer months the roads get more congested, and that rings even truer during holiday weekends like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Plus, the summer months are typically a popular time for road obstructions like construction. All that extra traffic and work on the roads means it’s even more critical to stay alert and safe when behind the wheel. We’re sharing driving tips to help you stay safe during the busy travel months of summer.
Maintain Safe Driving Distances
Summertime brings more teen drivers and vacationers to the roads, both of which may be prone to unpredictable driving, due to lack of experience and unfamiliarity with the area. Erratic and unpredictable driving is one of the best reasons to avoid tailgating or following cars too closely. One quick stop can easily mean a bad accident.
You should be at least 243 feet, or about 16 car lengths, away from the car in front of you, and even further for a semi-truck or emergency vehicle. Check out other safe driving distances in our helpful infobyte.
Obey All Traffic and Speed Laws
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but we want to say it anyway! Make sure you’re paying attention to traffic and speeding laws in the area where you’re traveling, and follow them. This includes wearing a seat belt, coming to a full stop at stop signs, no texting or using your cell phone, following marked speed limits and much more. If you’re speeding, your risk for accidents can increase quickly, and chances are going over the speed limit won’t save you as much time as you think.
Texting and driving, talking on the phone, applying makeup, fiddling with the radio to find just the right song, turning around to talk to passengers: it’s all considered distracted driving and it can be fatal. When behind the wheel, your only focus should be on the road. Stay alert and keep your eyes not only on the road, but on other drivers. Pull over if you need to reach something in the backseat, console a crying child or anything else that takes your attention from the road.
Don’t Drive Drowsy
If you feel like the chances are high that you could fall asleep behind the wheel, pull over and stop or let someone else take the wheel. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as distracted or drunk driving. Even being a little drowsy can increase your risk of getting in an accident.
Watch Out for Other Drivers
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how perfectly you are driving. You could be obeying all the speed limits and traffic laws, and you could still get into a crash because a distracted driver hit you. But you can help by paying close attention to other drivers on the road. Look out for unpredictable lane changing, turns that don’t use a signal, sudden stops, tailgating, swerving and more. Make sure you are at a safe distance to avoid these unpredictable driving behaviors. It’s also helpful not to just focus on the car in front of you, but watch out for those to the side and behind you, too.