The weather is warming up and most of us will be hitting the road for all sorts of different outings, whether it is a sporting event, graduation party, backyard barbecue or a vacation. Most people view the summer as an opportunity to travel without the threat of inclement weather. One of the few downsides to summertime traveling is the increase in traffic. If you live anywhere near an urban setting, you will likely face some serious traffic jams along with a number of other challenges. Those who plan on traveling out of state or to a popular destination will undoubtedly spend hours on roads that are becoming more crowded day by day. Follow these driving tips to make the most of your summer travel experience.
Consider Brushing up on Your Driving Skills
If it has been years since you passed your driver’s test or completed a defensive driving course, your driving skills have likely eroded. Some people even forget some of the rules of the road. Do yourself and other drivers a favor by taking an online course that refreshes your defensive driving skills before hitting the road for your travels. An online defensive driving course has the potential to prevent damage to your vehicle as well as yourself and your loved ones. The best part is that you don’t have to leave your home to participate in a defensive driving course. You can complete it from the comfort of your climate controlled home while donning your pajamas and sipping fresh coffee.
Distracted Driving is Often Deadly for Travelers
If you plan on venturing outside of your city limits this summer, don’t assume that you will reach your destination without getting lost or sidetracked. Unless you have traveled by car to your intended destination in the past, you will likely be a bit confused as to how to get there. The directions you print from Mapquest or Google aren’t always accurate. The bottom line is that your focus should be squarely on the road until you arrive at the landmark, stadium, museum or other site. Do not make the mistake of viewing the drive as an opportunity to multitask or hold an in-depth conversation with someone over the phone or within the vehicle. Distracted driving is especially dangerous for wayward travelers as they are traveling down an unfamiliar path.
Summertime Travelers Tend to Over-Use Cruise Control
Few people will make the argument that cruise control is an unnecessary invention. Yet cruise control does pose a threat to travelers who embark on travel expeditions. Traveling can be boring and tiresome. However, flipping on the cruise control for the entire highway portion of your trip is a mistake. Removing your foot from the gas pedal and letting the car hold its speed often results in a distracted or sleepy driver. If you feel drowsy or distracted, don’t use your cruise control! Force yourself to keep your foot on the gas pedal to heighten your awareness. If you are traveling at night, cruise control can prove to be especially dangerous as you won’t be fully engaged with the vehicle. An disengaged driver is much more likely to fall asleep when driving during the nighttime hours. If possible, plan out your trip so that you are on the road during the daylight hours.
Traveling is About Enjoying the Trip as Well as the Destination
Embrace your travel opportunity by savoring every moment of the trip. Don’t rush to your destination, thinking that there is no joy to be derived from the actual traveling experience. Keep in mind that nearly one-third of all fatal crashes are caused by speeding. Part of the reason to travel is to see all of the interesting sights between “point A” and “point B”. So take it easy, go the speed limit and do not hesitate to make several stops to check out attractions that pique your interest. This is your chance to enjoy new experiences and make memories that last a lifetime.