SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Although the calendar may not say it, in California summer season has started. For many, those long-awaited vacation plans are drawing near. While some may be sticking around and enjoying barbeques and visits to that special local spot, others may be in store for a road trip to their favorite destination. Whatever your summer plans may include, California’s roadways are sure to be bustling. With this in mind, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is reminding drivers to make this summer a safe one by planning ahead for a stress-free and enjoyable trip, no matter the distance.
“California is often recognized for its many sought-after travel destinations, making our roadways busier than ever throughout this time of the year,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “We all need to plan ahead, so that your road trip is both safe and enjoyable.”
In advance of any travel plans – whether near or far – OTS encourages drivers to take a few extra precautions to help ensure safe summer trips for all:
- Have a plan in place for the route, duration and any potential delays that may occur on your trip, and make others aware of your plans.
- Check road conditions ahead of time, paying extra attention to road closures, detours and roadwork notifications.
- Figure how long it should take to reach your destination, then give yourself extra time. You will either arrive early and stress-free or on time if you encounter delays along the way.
Prepare Your Vehicle:
- Have a spare tire ready, and ensure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated and treads are in good condition.
- Inspect the A/C, engine, battery, hoses, belts and fluids. Check for wear and tear and proper fluid levels.
- Confirm that lights and wipers are working properly, and clean windows ahead of time.
- Have an emergency road kit on hand, including jumper cables, a flash light and bottled water. Visit www.ots.ca.gov/roadsideemergencykit.asp for a complete list of suggested contents.
Make Safety a Priority:
- Buckle up, and require that all passengers do the same.
- If you must pull over during your trip, drive out of traffic and off the highway if possible. It is unsafe to perform repair work on the freeway shoulder.
- Plan ahead and use a designated sober driver. If you see a drunk or dangerous driver, call 911. You could save your own life and the lives of those around you.
Keep Young Passengers Safe:
- Confirm that young passengers are in the correct seat based on the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements, and ensure that it is installed properly. For assistance with proper car seat installation, visit www.ots.ca.gov/Child_Passenger_Safety.asp.
- Have plenty of activities available for children on lengthy trips, including DVDs, toys, books and games to keep the children occupied and the driver focused. Remember to pack plenty of snacks and cold drinks - including water – especially in the heat.
- Make stops along your trip as needed, especially for young children or infants that may require extra attention. Never take a child out of their car seat until you’ve pulled over to a safe place, such as a rest stop.
- Do not text or make phone calls while behind the wheel. Let others know of your whereabouts, and tell them you’ll contact them when you’ve arrived safely to your destination.
- Avoid programming your GPS system while driving. Allow a passenger to do it for you, or pull over to a safe place.
- Share driving duties with other passengers, and get plenty of rest prior to your trip. Plan to take frequent breaks throughout your trip, giving yourself time to stretch, rest and avoid fatigue.
- While it is important to eat and drink, do not do these things while behind the wheel.
The California Office of Traffic Safety wishes you a safe, fun, and memorable summer. For more summer safety tips or to keep up with the latest traffic safety information, visit www.OTS.ca.gov, or log on to Twitter.com/OTS_CA and www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS.