For some families, summertime means vacation time as they pack their cars, bring their children and board the dogs for a planned road trip that may take them several states away from their home to visit relatives, national parks, summer cabins, theme parks or just to learn about our country.
It’s a wonderful time to be with your family, learn many things as you explore via our expansive U.S., state and county highway systems. A back-road detour to visit that ideal gift store and oh-so-talked-about pie shop can create more memories.
Be aware of distracted drivers
But to experience and accomplish all of this, one must focus on safe driving. Your children are with you, so you need to be extra careful in relying on your defensive driving skills. Not everyone is a good driver. They may think they are, but this is why you need to be on the alert for inattentive and distracted drivers.
Those drivers and their no-nos include talking on phone, texting, checking messages, eating, scolding the kids in the backseat, or even watching television. Always be on the lookout for distracted drivers who may weave into your lane and bring tragedy upon many lives.
Key defensive driving points
Defensive driving may be the key to helping you enjoying a safe summertime road trip on your way to Indiana to see Uncle Fred and Aunt Val and the lovable and, sometimes, unruly cousins. Here are some key takeaways regarding defensive driving:
- Remain focused: You’re thinking while you’re driving, so be aware of road conditions, observe traffic laws, know your surroundings and avoid any distractions such as the phone or eating.
- Stay alert: Sometimes, fatigue may set in. This is why you need to get enough sleep before you take your trip. If you do become tired, it’s either time to change drivers, or get off the road and find a hotel or camping ground to sleep.
- Assume the worst from other drivers: They may not follow traffic rules, driving through traffic lights and stop signs, or just be aggressive and reckless. By anticipating any potential blunders from another driver, you just may reduce risky situations.
- Follow the three- to four-second driving rule: Keep a good distance between your car and the car in front of you. This will help you better adjust if the other car brakes suddenly or slows down.
- Keep your eyes moving, always checking your side and rearview mirrors.
- Slow down and drive at the posted speed limit.
- Wear your seat belt. Doing this just may save the lives of you and your family if you get into a car accident.
Enjoy the summer with your family. If you decide to hit the highway for a cross-country getaway, make sure to have fun, but, at the same time, remember to drive safely and stick with the defensive driving skills you have learned.