Holiday travel is back, according to a recent survey*, and 208 million American adults plan to travel this Fourth of July. Of those, over 42% will travel primarily by car.
Here are eDriving’s 10 tips for safe Fourth of July travel:
- Check your vehicle (brakes, lights, tires, fluid levels, etc.) and pack a breakdown kit that includes a flashlight, charged phone, jumper cables, first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, emergency flares, non-perishable food and plenty of water– plus any additional emergency items required by law in your state.
- Plan your trip in advance to select the most direct route, helping to reduce mileage and emissions. Planning ahead also means you’re less likely to get lost and are therefore less likely to use fuel for “wasted” miles. Remember to factor in rest stops in safe places; at least 15 minutes for every two hours of driving and more frequently if you feel tired.
- Avoid the busiest times for travel. INRIX publishes predictions of peak travel times in the run-up to the holiday period.
- Buckle up: seat belts save lives. Make sure children are seated in suitable, correctly-fitted car or booster seats.
- Look out for other road users. Lots of families will take to the roads over the holiday period – some of them on their first big trip for months. Some might be driving on unfamiliar roads, so be prepared for them slowing or stopping unexpectedly.
- Observe speed limits, remembering that maximum speed limits are not “target” speeds; they’re maximum limits in good conditions. Traffic, weather and environmental conditions impact on suitable speeds.
- Leave a following distance of at least three seconds in good conditions; more if traveling in wet weather or when visibility is poor. Be aware of your “escape route” when driving and when stopped at intersections.
- Drive defensively to help avoid problems, and to help the environment. This style of driving helps you to anticipate the actions of others and avoid collisions before they happen by leaving a safe space, looking well into the distance, and using techniques such as smooth acceleration and braking. This driving style can also help reduce battery usage if driving an electric vehicle.
- Be aware of the “Triple Threat” – Speeding, Distraction and Fatigue. All three are huge risk factors to drivers, but planning ahead can help – make sure you leave plenty of time for your trip, minimize distractions before traveling and ensure you’re well-rested.
- Adhere to national/local COVID-19 regulations and social distancing guidance. If you are traveling into another state, make sure to check the rules in place along your route and at your destination.
Visit eDriving’s Resource Centers for more tips related to Speeding, Distraction and Fatigue.
Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!
*The Vacationer, Fourth of July Travel Survey (https://thevacationer.com/fourth-of-july-travel-survey-2022/)