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4 Safe Driving Tips To Prevent A Collision While Road-Tripping This Summer

More people hit the road during the summertime, which increases the chance that you may end up in a collision. Before you set off on your next summer road trip, make sure that you have read the four safe driving tips listed below. The key to avoiding the need for summer collision repair starts by being aware when you get behind the wheel. 

Get Plenty Of Rest

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are tired can be just as risky as getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you have had a few alcoholic beverages. Driving while you are tired impairs your judgement. Do not start your drive at three in the morning if you are exhausted just so you can avoid traffic and get a couple hours' head start on your vacation; you should only set off on a big road trip when you feel well-rested and are not sleep deprived.

If you are going on a big cross-country trip this summer, make sure that you take plenty of stops and rest if you become tired or start to lose your focus while driving. It is better to add a few extra hours to your trip than it is to drive when your awareness is not strong. 

Minimize The Distractions

There are so many things that can distract you while you are on the road and it can be easy to trivialize the task of driving. Keep in mind that every time you get in the car and drive, you are driving heavy machinery that can get you where you need to go, but which also has the potential to inflict a great degree of damage when not handled correctly.

Load up your CD player with your favorite music before you get on the road, plug in your cell phone or MP3 player and set it to your road trip playlist and pre-set your radio stations. If you have kids in the vehicle, make sure that they have snacks and toys that they can easily access all on their own while you are on the road. Make any calls and send any necessary texts before you get on the road or when you are at a rest stop. 

Set up your vehicle so that you are able to minimize distractions and keep your focus where it should be -- on the road. 

Stay Alert

It can be easy when you are on a long road trip in the summer time to relax behind the wheel. Even if you are in the groove, it doesn't mean that your attention to the road should decrease.

Keep your hands on the wheel; don't drive with only a few fingers. You need a good grip on the wheel at all times so if the traffic suddenly changes or an animal jumps out onto the road, you can react as quickly as possible. 

That goes for your feet too; just because you are on cruise control does not mean that your feet should leave the pedal area. Keep your feet near the gas and break so you can react to any changes on the road, even when you are using cruise control.

Be Defensive

When driving in the summer, there is a good chance the freeways will be filled with other drivers commuting to work or on their way to vacation as well. With the increase in drivers, it is essential that you drive defensively.

Constantly check your mirrors and be aware of where all other drivers are at in your vicinity. If you see someone driving erratically, such as drifting out of their lane or speeding in and out of traffic, try to avoid them by either getting in front of them or dropping way back behind them -- whatever is appropriate for the specific situation you find yourself in. 

Do not ride anyone's bumper, even if the traffic is intense. Give yourself some room between you and the car in front of you so you have time to react.

Finally, make sure that you are being smart with how you are driving as well. When you slow down, don't just take your foot off the gas; tap your brake pedal as well as the drivers around you see your brake lights and are aware that you are stopping.

When you need to switch lanes or make a turn, put on your turn signal well in advance. Don't put on your turn signal as you are switching lanes or making a turn; that doesn't provide other drivers with the notice they need to respond to your actions. 

Avoid a collision this summer by only embarking on road trips when you are well-rested. Set up your vehicle so that all distractions are minimized, and always be alert and aware of your surroundings.