Road trips, over the years, have become a popular alternative to expensive flights for multiple member families. Between 2008 and 2009 72% of people who traveled for recreation did so by automobile [source].
With that increase in long distance auto traveling also comes an increase in the possibility of an automobile accident. “Current records show that most American driver’s will have a near motor vehicle accident 1 to 3 times per month and will be in a collision of some type on the average of every 5 to 8 years” [source].
The first step to ensuring your family has a safe road trip the next time you vacation is up to you and following 10 simple steps to highway safety:
- Stay alert and buckle up.
- Focus on your driving and the driving of the vehicle behind you, in front of you, and each side at all times.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
- Stay at the recommended speed to allow yourself time to stop.
- Put the cell phone down.
- Keep your radio at a normal level that allows you to hear traffic noise around you.
- Make sure to check your side and rear view mirrors before getting on the road.
- Be on the look out for road signs and detours when traveling in areas you are not familiar with.
- If you suspect anything is wrong with your vehicle, the children are acting up, etc – pull over to the side of the road at the first available time.
- Be alert when driving in the same area as big rigs, buses and other commercial vehicles with limited vision.
While these steps do the most to ensure you have a safe and pleasant drive to your destination, sometimes actions by other drivers are unavoidable. Every year more vehicles are involved in collisions with commercial vehicles while on the highway. The CSA involves itself heavily in creating cautionary steps such as hours of service regulations to ensure that commercial drivers are alert and aware on the highway.
Understanding the need for safety with and on commercial transportation, the CSA is also continuously improving transit security to both protect other drivers and passengers and also enforce regulations put in place.
If you see a commercial driver, bus or other commercial vehicle that seems to be driving in an irregular manner – pull to the side of the road and allow the vehicle to pass. Many vehicles also carry the well known “How Am I Driving?” hotline number you can call and report the poor driving behavior and possibly save other drivers from a collision.