Staying Safe on Your Spring Break Road Trip
People who are heading out on a road trip for spring break should take adequate safety precautions and exercise good driving behaviors to prevent serious accidents that may cause injuries or deaths. During spring break, car accidents rise significantly due to increased traffic, weather conditions, impaired and distracted drivers, and more teen drivers on the road.
Spring Break Road Trips
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes in 2018. In a recent study published in Economic Inquiry, researchers looked at traffic fatalities in 14 popular spring break destinations in various areas from Florida to California. They discovered that fatality rates in these destinations were 9.1 percent higher during spring break, with a higher death toll among out-of-state drivers and drivers under age 25. Fatal car crashes involving drunk drivers increased by approximately 23 percent.
To reduce spring break traffic injuries and fatalities, traffic officials suggest the following five safety tips when traveling:
- Avoiding Night Driving – Many spring breakers take off at night so they can arrive early at their destination and enjoy a full day of activities. About 50 percent of fatal car accidents occur at night due to night vision impairment and fatigue.
- Inspecting Car Tires – Worn and improperly inflated tires cause thousands of car accidents, especially in hot weather. Over-inflated tires don’t properly grip the road. Under-inflated tires create excess heat that can lead to tread separation and blowouts.
- Buckling Seat Belts – Three-point seat belts that fit snugly across the shoulder and hips offer the best protection. It’s important to buckle seat belts securely and avoid making adjustments that create any slack in the belt.
- Avoiding Reclined Seats – In a car collision, seats in a reclined position render the seat belt useless. Drivers and passengers should not recline their seats while traveling because it significantly increases the risk of death in an accident.
- Paying Attention to the Road – Each year, almost half a million people in the U.S. are injured or killed in traffic accidents caused by distracted driving. Talking or texting on a cell phone, snapping photos, using a navigation system, and eating should be avoiding while driving.