For many of us, summer means packing maximum activity into each day-from long Memorial Day weekends and road trips to graduation celebrations, pool parties, and barbeques. And since all that activity can translate into a lot more driving, it's especially important to have a plan to protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people die in drunk-driving crashes every year-that's about one every 50 minutes.
Call it "drunk driving" or "driving impaired" - operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is responsible for thousands of car crashes every year.
So if the day's plans include a gathering where alcohol is served, make sure your group has an agreed-upon designated driver-someone who pledges to avoid alcohol and remain able to drive safely.
If you have trouble finding a designated driver you can always hire a taxi-or even a limousine or bus for larger events-to travel safely from one event to another. In larger cities, you may even be able to hire for-profit designated driver services.
Whether it's a thunderstorm that's been on the radar for hours or a pop-up torrent of rain, summer scrambles sometimes necessitate driving in rough weather. That's why it's so important to prepare yourself for handling your car in summer's harshest weather conditions.
If staying put simply isn't an option, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers these useful tips for safely navigating summer's storms:
- Tune in to your radio to stay informed of the storm's progress and/or monitor approaching storms.
- In rain, be sure to use your headlights' low beams, slow down, and allow extra distance for braking.
- If rain is too heavy, pull safely onto the shoulder of the road away from any trees that could potentially fall on your vehicle. Remember to use your emergency flashers.
- In the case of lightning, avoid contact with any metal conducting surfaces either inside or outside your car.
"Drowsy driving" can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. And it's happened to a lot of us on long road trips-the combination of miles clicking by becomes almost hypnotic, especially if you're already on the sleepy side. So when you're manning the wheel during a long, multi-hour car journey, it's key to make sure you're well rested and alert.
Unfortunately, road rage doesn't take summers off-don't forget that long hours behind the wheel can turn normally courteous drivers into more aggressive drivers.
On average, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 113 minutes and injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes.
As a driver it's critically important to keep an eye out for motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians, especially around holidays like Memorial Day and July 4, when traffic's likely to increase. When you pull out of side streets, be sure to emerge slowly as you verify the area is clear. Also, be sure to yield appropriately, leave plenty of distance between your car and riders, and be careful when opening the car door!
Now there's even more reason to strive for a safe summer! Safe drivers can save 45% or more on car insurance at Allstate. Make sure you have the right auto insurance protection at the best price. Get an easy no-obligation quote, call us at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828), or find an agent near you. Are you in Good Hands?