- Drive aware and offensively: We may sound like your driving instructor here but we’re going to say it anyway - keep your eyes on the road at all times. If you need to pull over to handle something, do that. Be prepared for issues and be aware of what’s going on the road. Watch signs and drive alert. Don’t drive drowsy or intoxicated.
- Keep your speed down: You’ve heard the phrase “arrive alive” and this means slowing down. We’re all anxious to get to our destinations and it’s tempting to speed. Avoid this, especially at rush hour times where emotions are tense for most drivers. Set a cruise control on long trips if that helps you maintain your speed.
- Have an escape route: When traffic is tight, try to have an out in case of an emergency. This may not always be possible, but it’s a goal to keep in mind and something to watch out for. Don’t get stuck between semitrucks, and don’t sit a car’s blind spot.
- Limit distractions: This one you already know, but it’s so important, it’s good to get a reminder. Don’t text and drive and don’t mess with the radio or reach around in the back seat for a lost binky or toy. Hang up the phone and keep focused on the important task of driving.
- Be aware of surroundings: This goes along with being alert, but take it a step further by paying special attention to your surroundings. Did the people pull over and you can’t figure out why? Look around, maybe an emergency vehicle is coming and you didn’t hear it. Maybe everyone stayed stopped at a light when it turned green. Be alert, maybe they see someone is flying through the intersection’s red light.
- Keep a first aid kit in the vehicle: You never know when an emergency will happen but it’s always good to be prepared. A vehicle-specific first aid kit will come in handy at some point, and when that moment arrives, you’ll be glad you have it.
- Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle: Like a first aid kit, a vehicle emergency kit will come in handy at some point. This kit should have jumper cables, basic tools, a flashlight, reflective triangles, and extra batteries at a minimum.
- Always wear a seatbelt and have children secured properly: Many deaths from car accidents occur because people were not properly restrained. Keep your seatbelt on and make sure your children have the proper restraint systems as well.
- Inspect equipment and tools and keep up on car maintenance: Invest in your car in a way that keeps you safe on the road. Keep current on oil changes, tire rotations, and other maintenance issues.
Its road trip season! The Utah Department of Transportation considers the time between Memorial Day and Labor the most dangerous time to be on the roads because many of us are heading out for vacations, activities, long weekends, and fun. Stay safe out there with the following tips: