Are you “Rockin’ Down the Highway”?

Summer is upon us. The days are longer, the sun is brighter, the air seems cleaner, flowers are in bloom and many of us take to the highway and interstates in search of fun, adventure and the perfect vacation. Sounds great doesn’t it? You bet! Until it isn’t.

Yesterday, I witnessed an example of when it isn’t.  I’m on my way to work and traffic is actually going at a pretty good pace for the morning commute. Oops. Spoke to soon. Turns out a motor home pretty much ran up the tail pipe of a somewhat compact car that now looked like an accordion gone bad. Fortunately in this case no one was injured. But just seeing the motor home brought to mind some of the perils of driving that are more specific to summer.

Face it. Highways and interstates are already congested. The volume of traffic that daily travels these highways is intense. Add to that “vacation drivers” and the chance of accidents, traffic jams and road rage jumps like the degrees on the thermometer. Make sure you plan for delays; full tank of gas, bottled water and snacks on hand; give yourself extra time so you are not in panic mode when the unexpected happens. What about your car? Before you head down highway, make sure you’ve checked tire pressure, fluid levels, windshield wipers, and air conditioning – anything that could cause a problem on that long stretch of highway.

Take into consideration that school’s out. That means more teens on the roads and an increase in the risk of accidents.  Lack of experience and distractions can lead to questionable decision making. In addition to sharing road space with teens, watch out for the cyclists – motorcycles and bicycles – and be prepared for one darting out in traffic.

And what about those dreaded orange barrels? Construction and maintenance work definitely increases during the summer months. Be aware. Have you left yourself ample cleared distance in case you suddenly have to stop? Are you going the speed limit or are you pushing it just a little too much?

Do we all know these things? Yes, we do, but a gentle reminder never hurts. As I always tell my nieces; have fun and be safe.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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