In the summer, many families are more on the road than ever. Parents drive their children to summer camp, summer school, the mall, and summer sports activities. Plus, many families go out on family outings more often during the summer, take road trips, and visit friends. While the beautiful weather can make a drive more pleasant, all the added traffic on the roads is anything but safe. To get to your summer activities safely, make sure that you:
1) Don’t overbook yourself. Driving too much, too often can lead to driver fatigue, which is as risky as drunk driving, according to many experts. Share the responsibilities with a spouse or teenager or help your children find alternative ways to get to summer activities.
2) Rely on carpooling. Carpooling is a great way to prevent overbooking yourself and is much kinder on the environment. If your children have regular activities, you can probably make a carpool arrangement with other parents.
3) Get organized before you leave. Bring water, snacks, and entertainment in the car. Have a map (if you need one) ready. A few minutes of organization can help ensure a smooth car ride – whether you’re going to the cottage, summer camp, or on a summer trip.
4) Turn off distractions. Turn off your cell phone, mobile device, and any other distractions. If you are driving with children, have your children bring earphones so that they can listen to music or movies without distracting you. If you are traveling with a pet, keep the pet in a cage or small kennel to prevent the animal from getting into trouble – and distracting you from your driving.
5) Bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. Summer sun can be as much of a driving hazard as winter rain and snow. Sun can wreak havoc with your visibility and sunglasses as well as a hat can help you cut glare – especially if you also use your sun visor. As well, sunscreen can help prevent a painful burn, which could make driving uncomfortable. Bringing a bottle of water on trips is also a good idea, since dehydration can make you feel dizzy and sleepy, not alert and fit to drive.
6) Stop to look at sights. If you are taking a summer drive or want to take in a view, pull over first. During summer, there are more pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists on the road, making pedestrian accidents, car accidents, and bicycle accidents that much more likely. Driving while trying to look at a nice view increases the chances that you will be in an accident, so schedule frequent stops for breaks and for enjoyment.