Summer is road trip time, and California has a number of great destinations to explore by motor vehicle. To help motorists enjoy safe summer travels on the road, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is reminding the public to take care of themselves and their vehicles during the upcoming hot weather months.
“Throughout the busy summer travel season, safety should never take a backseat; buckle up, designate a non-drinking driver, adhere to the speed limit, and avoid becoming distracted behind the wheel,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Taking a few simple precautions before your road trip is the first step to ensuring everyone has a safe and memorable summer.”
Before traveling this summer, have your vehicle thoroughly checked, with special attention given to these items:
- To prevent your vehicle from overheating, make sure your radiator is working properly and is filled with fluid. Check fluid levels regularly.
- Ensure your tires are properly inflated.
- Keep yourself and your passengers in mind by checking that your air conditioner is in good working order before hitting the road.
- NEVER leave children or pets unattended for any length of time in a car. A closed car can heat up to well over 100 degrees in a very short period of time.
If you plan to travel long distances, consider getting an early morning or late afternoon start as the weather tends to be less severe at these times.
Some additional safety tips to follow before heading out:
- Be sure to set your destination on your navigation device prior to departing and never drive distracted while behind the wheel.
- Always use an appropriate child passenger safety seat when transporting children under the age of eight, or until they are 4 feet 9 inches in height. Be a good example and always wear your seat belt.
- Carry a survival kit with extra water, concentrated food, cellular telephone and charger, sunscreen, matches, collapsible shovel, blankets, good jack, tools and basic extra parts for your car (e.g., hoses, fan belts, extra gas) and maps of your area.
Always designate a sober driver when you head out for your summer fun. Remember to arrive alive and get home safe this summer.
According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, nearly 1,000 people were killed in collisions during the summer months (June-September) of 2010 in California. The data also shows nearly 78,000 others were injured in collisions during that same time period.
“The public should take comfort knowing the CHP will be out on the road with them this travel season,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Always remember, a little bit of safety can go a long way on the road for you and your travel companions.”