“Carefree summer travel requires extra care by motorists to make sure the trip is not ruined by problems,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Drive at a safe speed, maintain your vehicle, and be aware of the challenges of summer driving.”
Some of the hazards of summer driving:
· Leaving children or animals in a vehicle – dangerous at any time of year – becomes extremely dangerous. Be sure that all children are properly restrained in a safety seat or booster seat when driving.
· More new drivers, generally young and inexperienced, will be on the road when school is not in session.
· Visitors not only generate more traffic on the roadways, but those who are unfamiliar with an area may be distracted looking for landmarks and exits.
· High temperatures may create problems for tires and engines. Hot weather can lead to blowouts in tires that have not been well maintained.
· More bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians are on the roads. Pedestrians can be unpredictable and hard to see, especially in bad weather or after dark.
· Forest and grass fires generate smoke, reducing visibility and sometimes causing road closures. More emergency vehicles may be on the road in a fire area. Check for road reports before you leave home.
“When school is out and temperatures climb, family travel can be a happy occasion,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “We can make sure it stays that way with a little trip planning and attention to safe driving.”
OTS also reminds drivers to make safety a priority:
· Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time.
· If you have a vehicle issue, drive out of traffic lanes and off the highway if possible – freeway shoulders are not a safe place for repair work.
· Research road conditions and closures before getting in the car. Visit www.quickmap.dot.ca.gov for real time highway conditions.
A few more tips for safe summer driving from the CHP:
· Vehicle care is critical: oil changes, cooling system, tires, belts and hoses, and windshield wipers and wiper fluid should all be well maintained.
· Carry a roadside emergency kit with fresh water, cell phone, first aid kit, flashlight, flares and a white flag, jumper cables, jack (and ground mat) for changing a tire, work gloves, basic repair tools and duct tape, a jug of water and paper towels for cleaning up, nonperishable food, extra windshield washer fluid, and maps.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is Safety, Service, and Security.