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Drive Safe Today Day: Top road trip safety tips

Drive Safe Today Day:   Top Road Trip Safety Tips
Drive Safe Today Day: Top Road Trip Safety Tips
Department of Defense / Public Domain

Have you heard the news? Sept. 3, 2014, is Drive Safe Today Day, a potentially life-saving event that raises awareness about our driving habits.

Let’s face it. Most of us lead very busy lives. While all those handy-dandy gadgets help keep us connected on the go, it is important where and when we use them. Texting, talking and taking selfies while driving means our eyes are not focused where they should be - on the road. Just because you can walk, talk and chew gum at the same time, multitasking behind the wheel can be dangerous.

Progressive Insurance is asking Americans to take the challenge and pledge to drive safe on Sept. 3. Let's all work together to help make our roads a safer place.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Buckle Up - Did you know more than 10,000 lives are saved each year due to seat belts? Buckle up - it can save your life!
  • Speed Kills – Drive the speed limit! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Council (NHTSA), speed is one of the most prevalent factors in vehicle accidents. And don’t follow too closely. Keep at least a 2-second “buffer zone” between you and the car in front of you. And slow it down in inclement weather!
  • Distracted Driving – As previously mentioned, while gadgets help keep us connected, they can be a distraction behind the wheel. Eating, changing CDs, turning dials, reaching for items in the vehicle, reading and/or putting on makeup and shaving while driving changes our focus from the road to something else. Multitasking behind the wheel can be dangerous. Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Impaired Driving - Do not drink and drive! 30 percent of all vehicle fatalities in America involve drivers impaired by alcohol. Nearly 12,000 people lost their lives in 2008 due to alcohol-impaired driving. If you are going to drink, make arrangements before you go out.
  • Driving Drowsy - Tired drivers can be as hazardous as drunk drivers. The NHTSA estimates 1,550 people die on the roads each year due to driver fatigue. If you’ve been on the road for hours or feel yourself dozing off, pull over. Make frequent stops. Stretch.
  • Tire Safety - Check your tires once a month. Look for damage, how much tread is left and check the air in each tire. Most tires, including spares, have a maximum lifespan of six to ten years. When the weather changes, newer vehicles may display a Tire Pressure Monitoring System indicator light on the dashboard. If the indicator light lights up, at least one of your tires is under-inflated.
  • Drive Defensively - Don’t trust the other driver. You don’t know if he or she is texting, impaired or asleep. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and be alert!