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NHTSA 24-14
Friday, May 23, 2014
Contact: Derrell Lyles, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov


WASHINGTON –  Memorial Day weekend typically marks the start of the summer vacation season. And, as warmer weather approaches, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges drivers to take the proper precautions before and while driving on the roadway.

During the summer months, there is usually an increase in the number of vehicles on the nation’s roadways. Families take to the highways for vacations and extended road trips. And while these excursions can start off as a happy occasion, they can too often result in tragedy due to negligence and failure to properly execute the necessary steps to ensure safe travel. According to NHTSA data, in 2012 there were 377 crash related fatalities during the Memorial Day holiday period.

Consumers should remember prevention and planning is much easier than dealing with the consequences of a breakdown, or worse yet, a highway crash. To help avoid fatalities on our roadways, the agency has developed a list of tips that consumers can use for safe travel while driving:

  • Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. – Everybody aboard must agree to wear their seatbelts every time they are riding or driving in your vehicle. Wearing a seatbelt is also the best defense against a drunk-driving related crash. For more information on seatbelt safety please click here.
  • Don't Drive After Drinking – Drunk driving deaths spike during the holidays. Every 51 minutes, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash. Be responsible – don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a sober designated driver before going out. For more information on NHTSA Drunk Driving prevention efforts click here.
  • Check your Tire’s Air Pressure, Tread Wear, and Spare – NHTSA recently launched its TireWise campaign to provide consumers and retailers with essential information about choosing and caring for tires. Proper tire maintenance is especially important if traveling by 15-Passenger Van. Please click here for additional information on 15-Passenger Van safety.
  • Keep Children Safe In and Around Your Vehicle – Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the car seat or booster seat best suited to protect them. There are other dangers to children in and around cars that you should know. One of those dangers is hyperthermia, or heat stroke, from being left unattended in a hot vehicle. Visit www.safercar.gov/parents to find out more about how to keep children safe while in and around your vehicle.

Throughout this Memorial Day holiday, and the rest of the year, drivers should utilize the above suggestions to stay safe on our nation’s roads. Additional safety tips for drivers can be accessed with our new interactive Summer Driving Tips.

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