With the Memorial Day holiday signaling the beginning of the busy summer driving season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a list of seasonal safety guidelines for drivers.
NHTSA offers the following recommendations:
Regular maintenance – Tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns before they happen. If your vehicle has been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it should be in good shape and ready to travel. If not, or you don’t know the service history of the vehicle you plan to drive, schedule a preventive maintenance check-up with your mechanic. View NHTSA’s interactive summer driving tips
Don’t drink and drive – Every 52 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out. Last year, NHTSA announced a new mobile app designed to help people who have been drinking get a safe ride home.
Buckle seat belts – All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts when traveling in a vehicle. Research has found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.
Protect child passengers – Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants (younger than 1 year old) and 54 percent for toddlers (up to 4 years old) in passenger cars. If you’re traveling with children, remember the best way to protect them in a car is to put them in the correct child safety seat for their size and age. All children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat. Visit Parent's Central for more information on child passenger safety.
Avoid distraction: Distraction accounts for approximately 10 percent of fatal crashes and 18 percent of injuries – all preventable. Distracted driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from diving, including cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices.
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.