Do you know which week is the most traveled by Americans? If you said the first week of July, you would be right as many people use this holiday for extended vacations. And, according to statistics, it is also one of the deadliest.
When people think of the 4th of July, they see parades, picnics, cook-outs and firework – but do they think about safe driving? Hardee, Massey & Blodgett encourages you not to ruin your weekend, your life or someone else’s this 4th of July weekend. We would like to offer you some safe driving tips to keep everyone safe.
- Before you head out, make sure your car is in good working condition. Make sure your tire tread and pressure, oil and fluid levels, lights and windshield wiper are all working and in good shape.
- Buckle up for safety. In the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents, seat belts save lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seat belts can reduce serious injuries and deaths by about 50%. Adults who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts (78% usage) compared to adults living in urban and suburban areas (87% usage). You should also secure your infants and children in properly fitted car seats and booster seats.
- Do not drink and drive. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws defining driving impaired as a crime with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a specified level, currently 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood). According to the CDC, one 12-ounce beer has approximately the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounces of liquor. When you drink alcohol, your reactive time is slower, and your judgement and coordination are impaired. The more alcohol you drink, the more impaired you will become. If you drink, do not drive. Make sure you have a designated driver who does not indulge – and remember a 4-day weekend is not an automatic pass to drink and drive.
- Do not drive distracted. Do not talk on your cell phone or worse, do not text while driving. Program your GPS before you leave your house. Do not comb your hair, apply make-up or eat while driving. Ask your passenger to help with changing the radio station, search for something or help with the kids. In-car distractions increase your chances of being involved in an accident. One or two seconds of distractions can change your life or the life of another.
- Observe speed limits. Leave plenty of driving time to get to your destination. You will be sharing the road with thousands of drivers, and you need to also allow for road construction and possible rain and summer storms. This is not a race, and speeding does not mean you will win.
- Stay alert. Take breaks and stop at rest areas if you are feeling drowsy, and make sure you are driving defensively.
Thousands die each year as a result of distracted driving. The death toll rises dramatically during summer months especially for young drivers. Everyone can make a difference if they remember to keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and stop multi -tasking while we are driving.
We ask you to act like your life depends on driving defensively – because it does. We hope you have a safe holiday weekend but remember if you or a loved one is injured in an accident this holiday weekend, we are always available, 24/7, give us a call 252-378-2525.