Tips for Safe Summer Driving

You packed the beach bags, swimsuits and sunscreen, but are you truly prepared for that road trip to the beach? Road trips can be the highlight of the summer but seasonal hazards can lead to increased accidents.

“Awareness on the road and proper maintenance to your car can save lives, especially during the summer travel months. With the proper precautions, the risk for accidents can be reduced,” said Dr. Louis D'Amelio, director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center is one of only 10 designated trauma centers in New Jersey. Capital Health is the regional referral center for injured patients in Mercer County and adjacent parts of Somerset, Hunterdon, Burlington, and Middlesex counties as well as nearby areas of Pennsylvania.

CARE FOR YOUR CAR
Gear up for summer road trips with regular maintenance and tune-ups. Areas that are susceptible to damage from summer heat include wiper blades, belts and hoses, cooling systems, and tires.

REST
Avoid fatigue and stay focused on the road —schedule frequent breaks, stop overnight at a motel or hotel, and share driving shifts on lengthy trips.

STOP DISTRACTIONS
Distracted drivers are dangerous to everyone on the road. Remain fully focused on the road when in the driver’s seat. Pull over to a safe area to make a phone call, use electronic devices, or eat or drink.

SHARE THE ROAD
Everyone wants to enjoy the warmer weather. Be on the lookout for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists during the summer, and allow for extra stopping distance when in traffic.

BE PREPARED
Include an emergency roadside kit in your car. Key items include:
■ Cell phone ■ First aid kit ■ Flashlight ■ Jumper cables ■ Extra wiper fluid■ Jack (and ground mat) for changing tire ■ Basic repair tools

For more tips on safe summer travel, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety administration website at safercar.gov.

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