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It's Spring Break

By Matt Granda

It’s Spring Break

It’s spring break. As traffic picks up across the country, bear in mind some of these safety tips to help you get from point A to point B. While cars get fancier and more up to date technologically, we still have to be responsible drivers and ensure the safety of ourselves and those with us or around us. There are an average of 5,400,000 non-fatal car crashes every year. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s roughly 15,000 accidents per day.  Of all these accidents, per year, there are about 35,000 fatal accidents. These safety tips will help you be a safer driver.

Bring a D.D.: Any sane person usually says they would say that they would never drive drunk, but statistics show that roughly 32% of fatal accidents every year involve alcohol. Many states have coined catchy slogans like “Over the Limit. Under Arrest” and “Buzzed driving is drunk driving to try and sway people from getting behind the wheel while they’re drunk. During spring break, if you’re heading out for the night, be responsible and call a cab or have a designated driver.

Don’t Speed: The age old slogan of “Speed kills” remains true every day you get behind the wheel National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, states that speeding is one of the highest contributing factors of traffic crashes. You see people pass you all the time to try to get to wherever they need to go just a few minutes sooner but in reality those few minutes they think they save actually increase their crash risk by as much as 50%. Be sure to plan trips out and give yourself ample time to get there so you can avoid being a statistic.

While traveling, make sure to be on the lookout for bad weather.  Think you’re unstoppable in your AWD car or truck? Think again. Be extra cautious during bad weather and be sure to turn on your flashers, keep extra space between you and other cars, drive below the speed limit if necessary and even pull over if the weather gets too bad.

Catch some ZZZ’s. One of the most important things to being a defensive driver is being an alert driver. Studies show that 20% of all accidents were a result of a drowsy driver. If you’re feeling tired at all, stop and take a break. Being tired increases your risk for an accident because it decreases your reaction time. Even being a little tired can cause you to doze off or zone out and lose focus on the road and at the freeway speeds, a couple seconds can lead to disaster. Make sure that while you’re traveling this spring break that you’re getting a good amount of rest to stay alert while you drive.

Last but not least, combine all of these tips to become a better defensive driver. Don’t be put off by the term “defensive”, this means to just be on the lookout for other drivers who might purposefully try to aggravate you, other drivers, or the situation. If someone is being an aggressive driver, the safest thing is to avoid eye contact and get past them as quickly and safely as possible.

If you take these safety tips into consideration during your spring break and beyond, you can continue to insure that neither you nor anyone with you ends up hurt or worse while on the road.