Summer Travel Safety Tips

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jun 11, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) –
Final school bells are ringing, graduations are underway, hot weather
and vacations are on tap. Millions of Californians are expected to hit
the roads on the way to the beaches, mountains and all of the state’s
scenic and fun-time wonders. Whether you have longstanding travel plans,
a last minute road trip in mind, or just sticking around town this
summer, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reminds you to
give some thought to your summer travel to ensure everyone arrives
safely and can enjoy the trip.

Plan Your Trip

Plan, map and estimate the duration of your driving ahead of time and
let others know your plans. You can estimate the cost of gas for your
trip at .

Expect to encounter roadwork, delays detours — ‘Slow for the Cone

Check road conditions, including possible road closures. Visit
for real time highway conditions.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Check the tires, including the spare — proper inflation and good tread
can save money, time and lives.

Inspect the engine, battery, hoses, belts and fluids for wear and
proper levels. Check the A/C.

Do a “once around” — test all the lights, wipers and clean the windows
(inside and out).

If you’re not sure of what to do, consider a quick inspection by a
qualified technician. A few dollars up front can mean peace of mind
and safe arrivals, as well as no costly on-the-road repairs and trip

Prepare an Emergency Roadside Kit, including jumper cables, a
flashlight and plenty of bottled water. For a complete list, visit .

Safety First and Always

Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time.

If you have a flat tire, engine problems or a fender bender, drive out
of traffic lanes and off the highway if possible — freeway shoulders
are not safe for repair work.

Always plan ahead, use a Designated Sober Driver.

If you see suspected drunk drivers, it is legal and encouraged
for you to call 911. Clues can help motorists detect a drunk
driver: excessive weaving/swerving, especially in and out of the lane;
traveling at speeds much slower than the flow of traffic; braking
erratically or stopping in the lane; sudden stops for signal lights
and slow starts once they change; remaining at the signal lights after
they turn green — asleep at the wheel; making wide turns and/or
cutting the corner striking the curb.

Buckle Up Drivers Passengers

Parents, grandparents and caregivers, need to use the correct
seat for young passengers and be sure the seat is installed properly.
NHTSA and the Office of Traffic Safety recommend keeping infants,
toddlers and older children in the car seat for as long as possible,
as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight
requirements. Visit
for assistance with proper car seat installation in advance of your

Remember that long trips can be particularly tough on your kids,
especially in the heat — pack plenty of snacks and cold drinks for the
road (consider freezing juice boxes or water bottles overnight).

Use books, toys, DVDs and video games to keep children occupied and
the driver focused.

Keep children 12 and under in the back seat — it’s the safest place.

Stopping along the drive gives everyone a chance to stretch and makes
the trip easier. If you have a fussy baby, do not take them out of
their car seat while driving to soothe or provide a bottle. If your
child needs that level of attention, pull over in a safe place, such
as a rest stop.

Older children need to ride in a booster seat from about age four
until a seat belt fits them correctly. Be sure to try the 5-Step Test

before graduating from a booster to a seat belt.

Focus on the Road

Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving — even
hands-free. If you need to make a call, check road or weather
conditions or respond to a text, wait until you stop in safe place,
such as a rest stop or parking lot.

Don’t program your mobile GPS while you are driving. Either have a
passenger do it or stop in a safe place.

Share the driving with other passengers to avoid fatigue.

Rest — driving while drowsy can be fatal. Even a 30 minute nap can

Schedule your trip to allow for frequent breaks. Take time to pull
over at rest stops to stretch your legs and focus your head.

Stop for food or beverages. Avoid eating while driving.

Don’t fall into the trap of driving while angry — aggressive driving

Never Leave a Child Alone In a Car — Not Even
for a Minute

Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the window
slightly open. An outside temperature of 101 degrees can easily result
in an interior temperature of 140 degrees.

If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 911. EMS
professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.

Place your cell phone, purse or other important item needed at your
next stop on the floor in front of a child in the backseat. This
triggers adults to see children when they open the rear door and reach
for their belongings.

Set your cell phone or Outlook reminder to be sure you dropped your
child off at day care. Have a plan that if your child is late for
daycare, you will be called within a few minutes.

Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or
remote entry devices.

If a child is missing, check the pool first, and then your car or any
other vehicles at your house, including car trunks.

Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.

A little advance planning and preparation can keep you, your family and
our roads safe during the summer months. This effort is part of the
ongoing California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, where hundreds of
state and local agencies, advocacy groups and private industries help
develop tactics to significantly reduce deaths and injuries. For more
traffic safety information log on to
or visit .

Media Notes: Please visit the OTS Web Site for our resource guide
for building an Roadside Emergency Safety Kit –

SOURCE: California Office of Traffic Safety

        California Office of Traffic Safety 
        Chris Cochran, 916-509-3063

Copyright Business Wire 2012

More Safety Info:

  1. Home alone? AVFD provides safety tips for summer latchkey kids
  2. Nursing home safety: Special safety tips for the elderly or disabled
  3. AAA 65-Piece Winter Severe Weather Travel Kit
  4. Springfield Schools Send Home Safety Tips
  5. The Medical Minute: Stay Safe Around the House this Summer


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