May 26, 2021 | Washington, DC
As families are making their summer plans, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends adding the following summer driving tips to their to-do lists to stay safe while traveling on the road.
Please remember: Drivers should always avoid risky driving. Never drive distracted, and never get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. Also, all passengers should wear their seat belts, and children should be buckled in the correct car seat or booster seat for their age and size.
Tips from NHTSA for safe summer travel:
Before You Go
Check for Recalls
Owners may not always know that their vehicle has been recalled and needs to be repaired. NHTSA’s free VIN lookup tool lets you enter a vehicle identification number to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years. Check for safety recalls on your vehicle by searching now at NHTSA.gov/Recalls. You can also sign up for email recall alerts at NHTSA.gov/Alerts or download the SaferCar app to get notified automatically about recalls for your vehicle, tires, car seat, or other vehicle equipment.
Get Your Car Serviced
Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns. If your vehicle has been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it should be in good condition to travel. If not—or you don’t know the service history of the vehicle you plan to drive—schedule a preventive maintenance checkup with your mechanic right away.
Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is listed in your owner’s manual and on a placard located on the driver’s side door frame. The correct pressure is NOT the number listed on the tire. Be sure to check tires when they are cold, which means the car hasn’t been driven for at least three hours. Check out NHTSA.gov/Tires for tire ratings before buying new ones, and for more information on tire safety.
Keep Kids Safe
There are other dangers to children in and around cars that you should know. For example, heatstroke can occur when a child is forgotten in a parked vehicle or gets in on their own and becomes trapped. Never leave children alone in the car—not even for a few minutes or with the engine running, and teach children that vehicles are never places to play. Vehicles heat up quickly; if the outside temperature is in the low 80s, the temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in just a few minutes—even with a window rolled down. A child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than that of an adult. Visit NHTSA.gov/Heatstroke to learn more tips and reminders to prevent heatstroke.
Before you back out of a driveway or parking spot, prevent backovers by walking around your vehicle to check for children running and playing. When using a backup camera, remember to also look over your shoulders. Kids, pets and objects may be out of view but still in the path of your vehicle. When children play, they are often oblivious to cars and trucks around them. They may believe that motorists will watch out for them. Furthermore, every vehicle has a blind zone. As the size and height of a vehicle increases, so does the “blind zone” area. Large vehicles, trucks, SUVs, RVs, and vans are more likely than cars to be involved in backovers.
Additional safety tips can be found by clicking here.