Tips for taking a safe summer road trip

Summer is typically the busiest travel season on U.S. roads. Whether it’s a week away from home or a short weekend getaway, a lot of families travel by car to get to their vacation destinations. It’s important to follow some basic safety guidelines not only to avoid car accidents, but to make sure the car ride is smooth and safe for the kids. Here are a few ideas.

• Make sure all car seats are installed properly. A surprising number of parents fail to do this. All children (and adults, for that matter) should be buckled up before a car starts moving. All car seats should be in the back seat; it’s important to keep them away from armed air bags in the front seat.

• Check to make sure maintenance of the vehicle is up to date. You don’t want to be stalled out on the side of the road in the middle of a road trip. It’s a good idea to make sure that the air conditioning is in good working order, too. Driving on a sunny Florida afternoon without air conditioning is not only uncomfortable, but can get dangerous for little kids.

• On that note, don’t leave the kids in the car alone when you make short road stops. The temperature in a parked car can soar in a matter of minutes.

These are just a few ideas. As always, it’s imperative to drive attentively in order to avoid dangerous and unnecessary accidents.

Source: WAFF, “Keeping kids safe in car on vacation,” Bobby Shuttleworth, July 18, 2012