Summer is a popular time to hit the road and have some fun, but it can also be a dangerous time. Take precautions to ensure you stay safe during busy driving times, like the Fourth of July holiday.
Safe Driving Encouraged by the National Safety Council
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there are more preventable accidental deaths in the US in July and August than in any other two-month stretch of the year. Of these deaths, three separate categories involve vehicles: hot car deaths, pedestrian deaths, and automobile accidents.
This year, during the July 4th holiday, which falls on a Wednesday, the NSC estimates that as many as 164 people may be killed in road accidents, four percent more than the 157 people who died the last time the holiday fell on a Wednesday, in 2012.
The NSC is urging drivers to stay vigilant about impaired driving, one of the biggest factors in Independence Day holiday crashes. In 2016, alcohol was a factor in 41 percent of the crashes that occurred during the 4th of July holiday period – the highest percent of all the major US holidays.
On top of impaired driving and road accident deaths, hot car deaths occur all too often during the summer months. This year, 18 children have already been claimed by this tragedy. On average, 37 children are killed in hot car deaths each year in the US.
Perhaps the most startling fact provided by the NSC is the number of pedestrian deaths that happen every year. These tend to see an upswing starting in the late summer months. In 2016 alone, pedestrian deaths claimed 7,330 people.
Stay Safe on the Road this Fourth
Staying safe on the road is important – not just on busy holiday weekends, but anytime you take to the roads. The NSC suggests these tips for safer travel:
- Defensive driving – make sure you have a sober driver or some form of alternate transportation, get enough sleep to stay alert, and avoid distractions.
- Avoid impaired driving – drugs and alcohol are leading causes of roadway deaths, but they don’t have to be. Avoid driving if you’re impaired, and don’t get in the car with anyone who’s under the influence.
- Know your car – With all the new features and technology available in vehicles today, it’s important to know what safety features your car has and how to use them.
- Keep kids safe – With hot summer months there's usually a rise in hot car deaths, so make sure you look before you lock to ensure no one – child, pet, or otherwise – gets left behind in a hot car.
Aside from personal safety, your car can feel the effects of the summer heat as well, so be sure to keep up with proper vehicle maintenance. The Car Care Council, a non-profit consumer organization which promotes the importance of regular vehicle care, recommends checking the following on your vehicle before any trip:
- The battery
- The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system
- All fluids
- Windshield wipers
- All lighting
The Car Care Council also recommends getting a regular tune-up before going on a long car trip, as well as making sure your emergency kit is well stocked. The NSC also urges you to take care of any recalls for your vehicle before hitting the road for a summer or holiday trip.
Need a Safe Car?
Are your road trip plans on hold due to an unreliable vehicle? Do you long to take the family out for a 4th of July getaway, but are afraid your credit will stand in the way of getting the vehicle you need? Fear not, at Auto Credit Express we have the resources to help send you to a local dealer that can help you get into the vehicle you need this summer.
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