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Drive safely this summer

We may think of winter as the only season in which we need to exercise caution while driving – snow, ice and sleet are all obvious hazards. But Americans drive more during the summer months, and there are more motorists on the road. Summer driving comes with its own set of challenges, but following a few easy tips will keep you safe.

 

Keep sharp

The summer road trip is a great American tradition, but long hours behind the wheel can leave you drowsy and unalert. Make frequent pit stops to fuel up, get something to eat and stretch your legs. If you’re tired, change drivers or stop at a hotel for the night.

Avoid distractions

We have a lot going on in the summer and many of us are frequently on the phone trying to arrange plans with friends and family. But never text and drive. Studies have shown that distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk.

If you need to take calls while you’re on the road use a built-in handsfree device or pull over to place a call or text. Using your phone is not worth the risk.

Stay sober

The Fourth of July, Memorial Day and summer barbecues are all great opportunities to enjoy drinks with friends, but never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Alcohol is involved in 28 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S., and the penalties for driving under the influence are steep.

If you are drinking, plan on having a designated driver or find another way of getting home, like an Uber or public transportation. Driving impaired is never worth the risk.

Keep kids safe

School is out and you want to spend more time with your family, but it’s important to never leave your kids alone in a parked car, even with the windows down or the air conditioning on. Children’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than that of adults, and on an 80-degree day, cars can reach deadly temperatures in 10 minutes. Heatstroke is even possible in temperature as low as 57 degrees.

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