Friday, July 01, 2011

Make Holiday Driving a Breeze with Safety Tips

Make Holiday Driving a Breeze with Safety Tips

Screaming kids, congestion, road work, scorching weather: While we all like to get away for the summer, issues such as hese can make for a lot of stress for people who are driving long distances, especially during the busy Fourth of July weekend.

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2010
Top safety tips:
  • Buckle up and do it right: The seat belt remains the most important piece of safety equipment. Ensure that it tightly encircles your hips, not your waist. Never place the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm
  • Keep small children belted in safety or booster seats: Children under four-feet-four-inches tall who weigh less than 79 pounds should by regulation be fitted in child safety seats or booster seats and properly belted. The safety seats need to be securely fitted to the rear seat
  • Ensure that the tilt and height of all head rests are correctly adjusted
  • Avoid placing objects over the airbag cover: Do not place any object between an occupant and an airbag or near any other airbag covering. The airbag may not inflate properly and might force an object into that person, causing severe injury or death. The instrument panel grab handle should never be used for storage. The path of an inflating airbag must be kept clear at all times
  • Do your homework. Know your car’s condition and its safety features: Check for basic maintenance and items in your car before heading off for a trip. Items to check include tire tread depth, tire pressures, and ensuring oil and water levels are correct
  • Be responsible and know the speed limits: If you’re traveling across the country, be aware of the speed limits and road laws of the states you will travel through. Always carry your driver’s license with you
  • Give yourself enough time to complete the journey: Plan for stops along the way. Drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and leave sufficient space between the vehicles around you
  • Pack heavier items in lower areas of the vehicle: When filling up the cargo areas of the vehicle, always place the heaviest items close to the vehicle floor or truck bed so that in the event of a quick stop, those items remain in place and do not move forward in the vehicle where they can collide with passengers or other materials
  • Use a voice-activated, hands-free connectivity system to control your mobile phone or navigation system: Ensure the system is ready to go before you set off
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Don’t drive when you’re tired: It is recommended that you take regular breaks on a long journey

And a few things you might not know…
  • Bothered by bugs? Going on a long trip and don’t want to face a windshield and/or bumper full of dead insects by the time you arrive? Wipe down your windshield with a tumble dryer sheet; bugs won’t stick to the glass as easily. Also, give your bumpers the once-over with cooking spray
  • Sheets: If your trunk looks like a linen closet before you leave, then you’re prepared. Pack bed sheets – you can drape them over car seats that have become baking hot in the sun
  • Tennis, anyone? Slice open a tennis ball and use it to cover your tow bar when you’re not using it. It will protect it from scratches, and will keep the moisture out
  • Don’t forget your shades: Troubled by sun glare? Add a few pairs of sunglasses (in case you lose one) to your travel bag before you leave
  • Don’t scratch it; smear it: Can’t get that sticker from the amusement park or beach parking lot off your window? Saturate it with cooking oil before you start scrubbing

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Dan N. Moldovan.

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