A vast majority – 84 percent – of Americans will travel to July 4 celebrations by car this year, according to a new AAA survey. As parents pack sunscreen for the beach and hamburgers for the barbecues, drivers should also pay careful attention to the car itself before a road trip of any distance.
Car safety tips may be the last consideration on a red, white and blue to-do list, but with so many more drivers on the road this week, go over these tips before you head out the door for parades and fireworks:
- Check your tire pressure. Only 17 percent of cars on the road have all four tires correctly inflated, according to AAA, and air is an easy, cheap fix at a gas station.
- Top off your washer fluid before the dust accumulates on your windshield.
- Take two pairs of sunglasses so you and your co-pilot can navigate if you’re driving in a sunny direction.
- Get a good night’s sleep. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 100,000 accidents annually are caused by drowsy driving.
- Look under cushions and mats for small objects that could make their way into toddler’s hands – or throats – during the road trip.
- Ensure your kids’ car seats are properly placed by calling 866-SEAT-CHECK for free car seat inspections. Eight out of 10 car seats are not correctly installed, leaving your kids in preventable danger.
- Pack a “just in case” kit with water, snacks and a mini fan in case of heavy, unexpected traffic or a car breakdown.
When you leave for July 4 festivities, don’t forget to lock your doors and turn on your home security system. If you’re going on a vacation, check out these safety tips.