Independence Day is right around the corner. And you are probably planning to celebrate this federal holiday with friends and family.
No matter what your plan is, safety should always be part of the experience.
While you are still trying to finalize arrangements, let us help you identify several ways to improve your safety while on the road.
From distracted driving to defensive driving, you are responsible for following our holiday driving tips accordingly.
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Are you hitting the road this 4th of July? Here are 10 safety driving tips that will help you work on your safety behind the wheel.
1. Map your journey smartly
Patriotic Americans have everything already figured it out when it comes to celebrating Independence.
As meticulous as you are about your celebration, make sure you plan out your journey to avoid unnecessary road hassles that could disrupt your drive.
Using smartphone apps like Waze could help you map your journey in a way that you tackle congestion smartly.
2. Check your car before you leave
If you are planning a long drive, you should first consider tuning up your vehicle for a safer experience.
You could start by checking your car’s engine, tires, wipers, and oil fluid levels to name a few.
Though some people aren’t as savvy as others when it comes to car maintenance. Thus, refer to your local car mechanic for a proper inspection prior to celebrating 4th of July.
3. What happened to the seat belt rule?
Before starting your vehicle, you must wear your seat belt to help you reduce the impact of any possible crash.
You could even safe your live by simply buckling up. And you should share this advice with your passengers, especially when driving with kids.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that seat belts reduce deaths and injuries by around 50%.
With that being said, wear a seat belt at all times and make it a habit.
4. Please, don’t drunk drive!
Let’s be clear. Drunk driving is a serious problem on festive days. In 2017, 237 Americans lost their lives owing to drunk-driving related crashes.
In response, the NHTSA shared the following: “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” and “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.”
If you are planning to drink on 4th of July, make sure you select a designated driver. Not only will you protect yourself, but also keep your loved ones out of danger.
5. Do not exceed the speed limit or drive slower
Adjust your speed to the speed of traffic. This applies to days in which the roads are crowded with people going in different directions.
If you are leaving a little earlier to avoid traffic, make sure you follow the posted speed limit signs.
Those signs exist for a reason and you should never ignore them. Remember that you are driving on an adventure with your loved ones. There is no need to race.
6. Driving while drowsy is never safe
Driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
In the US, about 100,000 police-reported car accidents are associated with drowsy driving every year.
For that reason, sleep at least 7 to 8 hours the day before your road trip to avoid nodding off while on the road.
In addition, if you become drowsy while driving, it is best to safely pull off the road and take a nap.
7. Avoid distracted driving
From using your phone to track your route to holding your breakfast burrito, multi-tasking doesn’t translate well when driving.
According to a recent study, Americans spent 10.8 minutes of every hour on the road using their phones on 4th of July, 2018, compared to 10.08 in 2017.
It seems that people are devoting more time to their phones. But driving is a challenging task that requires full attention.
Hence, avoid distracted driving by looking straight ahead and watching for road users and hazards around you.
8. Be cautious when rural driving
The NHTSA also reported that a significant amount of crashes occurs in rural locations.
You are advised to take this concern more seriously by driving cautiously. Even if that means adjusting your speed and increasing your following distance to avoid unexpected maneuvers.
Rural driving may sound easier than urban driving, but every road scenario comes with its challenges.
9. Defensive driving is the safest choice
Your ability to remain safe while driving highly depends on your knowledge about defensive driving.
Defensive driving means operating a vehicle in a way that everyone is safe.
It is a skill that helps you stay safe from other drivers who aren’t portraying acceptable driving skills.
There are different ways in which you could apply defensive driving. Here is a list of practices you may want to put in action this 4th of july:
- Look down the road 10 to 15 seconds ahead to predict future actions.
- Be able to adjust your speed.
- Be prepared to safely react to other road users.
- Do not expect others to perform as you wish they should.
- Respect other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road.
- Be aware of driving in challenging conditions.
- Stay alert and avoid distracted driving.
Whatever your plan is, always make sure to include safety in your checklist.
4th of July means freedom and unity. These patriotic values should also be reflected on the way you drive to reduce the number of crashes across the country.
By reading our holiday driving tips, you are making enough progress on your safety. Have a fabulous 4th of July weekend and enjoy the parade and fireworks with your loved ones.
If you have other safety driving tips in mind, feel free to leave your input on the comments below.