Have you been looking forward to the first day of summer? It’s finally here and that means you’re probably planning a road trip to your favorite vacation destination. If that’s the case, then you should know that summer and early fall are the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. Data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that there are around 37,000 fatalities each year from car accidents and that there is an uptick in accidents during the summer, especially on weekends. If you’re hitting the road for your vacation this summer, Resurgens Spine Center would like to share the following tips to help you stay safe out there on our nation’s highways.
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
If your vehicle isn’t mechanically sound, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll be involved in an accident. Before you head out on a road trip, it’s a good idea to get it serviced so you can be certain the tires, brakes, engine, and other critical components are in working order. When you get your car fixed up before the trip, you won’t have to worry about any surprises while you’re on the road, and you and your family will be much safer.
Never Drive While Impaired
You probably know that impaired driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the U.S. but do you know what it means to be impaired? There are many situations that can create an impaired driver, and you may not have considered some of them. Alcohol and drugs are two obvious culprits; if you’re under the influence, you should never get behind the wheel. That includes prescription medications that can cause drowsiness and other side effects, so be sure to read your medication labels closely and follow any warnings about operating heavy machinery. Distracted or drowsy driving can also lead to accidents, so never use your phone while driving and switch drivers every few hours so you can keep your attention on the road where it belongs. If you begin to feel tired or start to nod off, it’s best to pull off the road as soon as possible and get some sleep before you continue.
Obey Posted Speed Limits
The faster you drive, the less time you’ll have to react to hazards in the roadway and the longer it will take for you to stop your vehicle. Speed limits are established to keep us safe, so it’s best to follow them, even if it means you’ll take slightly longer to reach your destination. After all, is it really worth it to risk the lives of you and your family just to get where you’re going a few minutes earlier?
These are just a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of being injured or even killed in a car accident. This summer, all of us at Resurgens Spine Center hope you’ll let reason prevail and follow these tips on your next road trip. To all the summer road warriors out there, stay safe and have a great vacation!