Summer Driving Refresher

As the temperatures go up, so do the amount of miles that Americans drive. Getting to and from vacation spots is a rite of summer and even the high price of fuel will not deter families from driving to distant locations. With this increased traveling, comes increased accident rates and the associated injuries and fatalities.

If you talk with any emergency response professional, most, if not all, will describe incident scenes they have responded to that were easily preventable if basic driving standards had been used.

If you have children riding with you, then safe driving practices need to be of even greater concern. It is estimated that 28% of children aged 14 and under die of "unintentional injuries" in a motor vehicle accident. Even more disturbing is that 55% of these kids were not wearing restraints.

Do the Basics

  • Seat belts for everyone, every time. This preventative action has saved many from serious injury and death, yet it continues to be ignored.
  • Do not drink and drive. Approximately 40% of fatal highway-related fatalities involve alcohol. That's a lot of potentially risky driving behind you, next to you and going the other way.
  • Don’t speed. Speeding increases the risk of an accident due to vehicle handling and driver response time. Let's face it, there's a degree of risk in just getting there. Hurrying is a large reason why some never get there at all.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in safe condition. Lights, wipers and proper tire pressure need to be checked before hitting the road.

These basic safety rules, which every licensed driver was initially taught, are good rules of the road for both leisure or work driving.

This summer make a renewed commitment to follow them. Only through increased participation will a decrease in accident rates be realized.