Summer in California is a time for many people to enjoy road trips, see the sights, and visit new places. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds everyone to put safety first and prepare for travel so summer fun does not become summer disaster.
“Good planning will make your trip safer for everyone – the driver, passengers, and other motorists,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “Be sure you and your vehicle are both ready for your summer adventures.”
Summer driving can be more dangerous than winter for several reasons. Vacationing motorists, unfamiliar with an area, may create more traffic and drive unpredictably, either admiring scenery or trying to find their way. More teenagers, who are inexperienced drivers, are likely to be on the road. Road construction occurring during the summer also requires caution.
The CHP offers these tips to help ensure roadway safety:
• Make sure your vehicle is ready for summer. Check the tires, lights, and radiator system. Summer temperatures place extra stress on your vehicle and all systems should be in good condition for safe travel.
• Know your route. Before you leave, research road conditions and construction. The California Department of Transportation has a mobile app for traffic information, or visit http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov for highway conditions.
• Cell phones can only be used hands-free. However, it is much safer to stop before making or taking calls, even hands-free. Program any mapping devices before you leave.
• Buckle up! Be sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt. Check that young passengers are using the correct child safety seat for their height and weight.
• Never leave pets, children, or the elderly alone in a car for any length of time. California laws address how to handle situations in which children or animals are left in vehicles. However, the best approach if you see an unattended child or animal is to call 9-1-1.
• If your vehicle has a problem, such as a flat tire, move it to a safe location, if possible off of the highway. The shoulder of a roadway, no matter how wide, is not a safe place for repair work.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.