Research shows 45 percent of Americans take summer vacations, with 91 percent of traveling in personal vehicles, creating a greater opportunity for more collisions.
Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children and young adults ages 5 to 24. Only one in four child car sets in the U. S. is properly installed.
Seatbelt safety is a major way to prevent accidents, particularly for children.
Unfortunately, research shows African Americans and Hispanic children are as much as 10 times less likely to be properly restrained from a vehicle. A quick visit to a local car seat inspection location, like a fire station, will ensure a safe ride for a child. That is the first things families should do before hitting the road.
In addition to a child car safety seat, these simple automotive safety tips to dodge potential accidents and keep all passengers safe on the road:
- Pump your brakes. No, really. Give them a few pumps to check them out. Brake pads need to be replaced and/or examined when it takes longer than usual to stop or when there is excessive vibration with the brakes, when attempting to stop.
- Buck up and practice seatbelt safety. To ensure seatbelt safety, the belt should lie across the upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest. To learn more about Toyota's seatbelt safety tips, click here.
- Practice crash prevention. To avoid collisions, know your car's limits. Daytime driving and proper hand placement on the steering wheel can decrease the likelihood of collisions. Fortunately, many of today's vehicles are outfitted with the latest autonomous safety driving aids. Some of those consist of a forward collision braking system, an electronic blind spot detection system, a lane changing keep assist system, a back up camera with a cross-traffic alert system and a radar-activated cruise control system.
- Avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving is the number three cause of fatalities on the road. Avoid multi-tasking acts like texting, putting on make up, talking on the phone and you will increase the likelihood of a safe drive.
- Take care of your tires. You wouldn't go for a run without the right pair of running shoes, so don't do any long distance travel without checking out the health of your tires. Properly inflated tires will also increase your miles per gallon (mpg), Newer cars are equipped with an electronic Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which alerts the driver of 'low-pressure' tire concerns. 1. Rotate your tires every other oil change, which in most case every 6,000 miles. If you're using synthetic oil, it should be every 5,000 miles, since oil changes occur every 10,000 miles. 2. Make sure tires are properly inflated. Check the driver's label inside the door for the appropriate pressure levels. 3. Check your spare tire as often as you check the rest of your tires. Consider buying a tire inflator kit from your local parts store.
- Don't leave your car too thirsty. Top off your gas tank. And top off all of your fluids, before hitting the road, Have you changed your oil, checked your transmission fluid, checked your brake fluid and added windshield washer fluid? The answer to all of these maintenance items should be yes.
- Or too hot. It's summer. If you haven't repaired the AC, your probably should. Your passengers will thank you.
- Carry your essentials. Cell phone and cell phone charger? Check! Car insurance and registration? Check. Bottled water? Check. Healthy snacks? Check! Consider signing up for an emergency roadside assistance plan, Some cell phone plans allow you to add the service, too.
- And don't leave your kids in a hot car. It can be deadly. Protect your precious cargo.