Spring break is right around the corner, and with children having time off from school, many families choose to take advantage of the break to go on vacations. It is also a time when many young people, who may be inexperienced drivers, take to the road for long hauls to destinations like Florida and other warmer locales.
Sad but true, during traditional travel periods such as around spring break the risk of being in a car accident rises. As the roads become busier with long-distance traffic, drowsiness the density of traffic and weather among other factors can cause serious accidents. What can you do to keep your friends, family and loved ones safe this year?
How to stay safe on spring break road trips
Long-distance driving is very different from other types of driving. There is a different set of challenges and risks involved from most day-to-day driving. A drive from New York down to Florida or another vacation destination along the East Coast or Gulf Coast requires drivers to be prepared for challenges such as:
- Drowsy driving — It is easy to be lulled into a very drowsy state, even if you have had enough sleep, because of the rhythmic effect of highway driving. Driving long periods of time where there may be few stops or sharp turns to break up the monotony can cause people to glaze over and become inattentive or drowsy. Compounding that danger is the fact that many drivers are not fully rested when they attempt to drive long distances.
- Dangerous drivers — You may be doing everything to be safe on the road, but are other drivers? You may be sharing the road with young, inexperienced drivers who are pushing themselves to drive longer than they should. They may be driving a car filled with friends who might be distracting them. Alcohol or drugs might be involved. You need to be on the lookout for unsafe drivers who might put you and your family at risk.
Once you are at your destination, you may still need to be careful. While most young spring breakers go to different areas than families looking for vacations, there may still be risks. In traditional spring break destinations there can be a marked increase in traffic accidents and fatalities.
Take the extra time and precautions necessary to keep you and your family safe on whatever spring break trip you may be taking.