With spring break on the horizon, it’s that time of year to be prepared for the traffic that comes along with it. If you’re lucky enough to live in a spring break destination, then you know how much the influx of all the travelers can be on traffic. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going, pay close attention, especially at night, when people may be coming back from dinner or the bars, while most people don’t, you always see at least one person driving drunk.
If you’re traveling, have a game plan of how you will get around whether its your own car or if you’ll be using transit to get around. Most areas you travel for spring break will have an abundance of transit or ridesharing options for you to use. Follow some of these helpful tips when traveling for spring break.
Plan ahead- going out? have a designated driver or have a plan on how you will get back and forth.
Avoid alcohol- If you know you’ll be driving don’t drink, its against the law, plus its dangerous.
If you drink, don’t drive- headed to a party, get a ride its not worth jail time to get caught driving.
Leave your car- most spring break destinations have a good public transit system, take advantage of it, or use a ridesharing service or taxi.
Don’t let friends drive under the influence- If you notice a friend trying to get in their car to drive after having a few drinks stop them, it could save their life. Help them, find another way home or offer to drive them if you haven’t been drinking.
Host the Party- The best way to avoid driving drunk is hosting the party, then you don’t have to worry about how you will get home.
When driving long distances, it is tempting to adjust your seat belt for comfort by incorporating some slack in the belt or even positioning the shoulder belt behind your back. However, these adjustments can make your seat belt completely ineffective and cause severe injury in a collision.
Take Breaks When You Need to: Driving when you’re overly tired is nothing to joke about — it causes at least 100,000 police-reported crashes every year, says research from the NHSTA published at DrowsyDriving.org. Listen to your body, and if you’re too tired to stay alert, ask someone else to drive or recharge at a rest stop. Making good time on the road is not worth causing an accident.
Rotate Drivers: Especially if you’re driving a long distance — such as from Illinois to South Florida for the week — try to rotate drivers periodically. Even if you aren’t feeling tired, take turns behind the wheel. This gives everybody a break while also helping to proactively prevent drowsy driving.
Break Up Your Drive: If you don’t have multiple drivers and/or if your trip is especially long, consider dividing travel plans across several days rather than in one nonstop trip. Pick a halfway point where you can rest for the night, or plan to visit and stay with friends who are along the journey. By breaking up the drive, you protect yourself from overextending your body during driving and causing problems on the road.
Know Your Route: A lost driver can be easily distracted from what’s happening around him or her. Avoid this issue by studying your map ahead of time, programming your GPS and/or keeping maps in the car that a designated navigator can consult. When you know your route, it will be easier to stay focused.
Be Alert to Road Conditions: While your final destination may be all fun and sun, the roads you have to navigate en route may still bear the marks of winter weather. Winter’s potholes and spring’s frequent construction make potentially hazardous road conditions, so stay alert about the places where you’re traveling.
Check Your Car: Before taking your car on a long trip, make sure it’s safe for driving — with “tires that are properly inflated, all fluids at their proper levels and … a full tank of gas,” suggests Independent Traveler. If you’ll be taking a long trip, you may want to take your car to a mechanic before your trip. When you’re heading out of town, the last thing you’ll want to be dealing with is oil leaks or busted brakes. Take precautions now to protect yourself.
Wear Your Seat Belt: Seat belts only save lives when they fit and are worn properly. Though rare, some vehicles on the road still use two-point “lap-belt only” seat belts in the rear center position. If your vehicle has a lap-belt only restraint, avoid sitting in that position unless absolutely necessary. Three-point “lap-shoulder belt” restraints are far more effective at preventing injury than lap-belts alone.
The lap portion of your three-point belt should fit snugly across the bony structures of your hips and pelvis. The shoulder portion should be snug and cross your body at your sternum (breast bone) and shoulder. Make sure to adjust your belt so that it fits properly. Never let the seat belt cross over your neck and never tuck the shoulder belt behind you.