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NHTSA 26-15
Friday, May 22, 2015
Contact: Kathryn Henry, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov


WASHINGTON – The upcoming Memorial Day holiday signals the beginning of the busy summer driving season, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges motorists to take simple but necessary precautions to ensure vehicles are in optimal driving condition and appropriately equipped prior to taking to the road. Additionally, NHTSA advises drivers to avoid risky behaviors that could potentially put you and your passengers at risk.

NHTSA offers the following safety recommendations before taking to the road:

Regular maintenance: Tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns before they happen. If your vehicle has been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it should be in good shape and ready to travel. If not, or you don’t know the service history of the vehicle you plan to drive, schedule a preventive maintenance check-up with your mechanic. View NHTSA’s interactive summer driving tips

Don’t drink and drive: Every 52 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designed driver before going out. Last year, NHTSA announced a new mobile app designed to help people who have been drinking get a safe ride home

Buckle seat belts: All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts when traveling in a vehicle. Research has found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.

Protect child passengers: Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants (younger than 1 year old) and 54 percent for toddlers (up to 4 years old) in passenger cars. If you’re traveling with children, remember the best way to protect them in a car is to put them in the correct child safety seat for their size and age. All children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat. Visit Parent's Central for more information on child passenger safety.

Avoid distraction: Distraction accounts for approximately 10 percent of fatal crashes and 18 percent of injuries – all preventable. Distracted driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from diving, including cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices.

Observe “Move Over” Laws: Move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers assisting motorists on the side of the road. It’s the law in all 50 states.

Stay connected with NHTSA: Search for open recalls with VIN look up | Download the Safercar Mobile App for Apple or Android devices | Receive recall alerts by email | Visit us on Facebook.com/NHTSA | Follow us on Twitter.com/NHTSAgov | Watch 5-Star Safety Ratings crash tests on YouTube.com/USDOTNHTSA | SaferCar.gov

U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-888-327-4236
1-800-424-9153 (TTY)