Summer Drive Smart Tips
Drivers of all ages need to be aware of the traffic laws, be concerned with safety, and always show courtesy behind the wheel. The road is shared by more than just motor vehicles; therefore, it is important to be patient and attentive to your surroundings to reduce the risk of an accident.
With the weather getting warmer, drivers should expect to see more pedestrians, runners, bicyclists, and even prepare for road trips and vacations, which means having more passengers in the car. With that in mind, we want to help you to prepare for anything that may come your way while on the road.
- Designate a front seat passenger to help navigate rather than trying to read the map or GPS while you are driving. This will let you focus on the road and eliminate having to make sharp or sudden turns.
- Be familiar with your car or the car that you are driving. Before you get on the road, make sure your mirrors, seat, air conditioning, and radio are adjusted to diminish the temptation of doing that after you are in motion.
- If you begin to lose focus, be sure to pull over and rest or sleep. If you are traveling with others, plan to rotate the responsibility of driving every few hours.
- Getting there is more important that getting there quickly. Although you may be eager and excited to arrive at your destination, you must remember to follow the driving laws and stay calm so that you can properly handle what the new territory brings, such as traffic or more lanes.
Be alert and look for signals from bicyclists and bikers and signs such as "yield to pedestrians" and "bicycle lane".
Before changing lanes or turning, be extra cautious to look for motorcyclists, joggers, or bicyclists beside you. They are much more difficult to see than a car or a truck.
When parking on the side of the street, check your mirrors before opening your door, especially when there is a bicycle lane on that particular road.
When passing a runner or bicyclist, always leave sufficient room. If there is oncoming traffic, be sure to leave enough space behind the runner or bicyclist and wait until there is enough time to pass without getting too close to that person.
Slow down when approaching a cross walk, even when you have the right away. Some people are not paying attention or may have children that may stray onto the street suddenly by accident.
In any circumstance, you should have your car serviced regularly, especially before long trips. You should also put together an emergency kit that includes:
- Jumper cables
- Equipment to change a tire
- First Aid kit
It is also important to always check your gas level and to never let your tank get too low. Be sure to wear a seat belt and enforce all of your passengers to do so as well. As always, there will be delivery and commercial trucks wherever you are going; allow more following distance than usual, it is much easier to maneuver and control a smaller vehicle than it is for large trucks to stop and swerve.
Remember that safe driving is determined by your attitude and actions on the road. You must leave early enough so that you are not rushed, be patient in traffic or when sharing the road, and always be courteous of those around you. You are not the only person on the road, and there are many forms of transportation now that the weather is getting warmer. Whatever style of transportation you choose, you must always be cautious, yield appropriately, be considerate, and pass with care.