Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Keeping Your Family Safe on the Road

Summer is upon us and for many people that means family vacations, trips to grandma's house and more time traveling in the car.  As a mom, safety is always at the top of my list.  No matter what we are doing or where we are going, I want to know that my children are going to be as safe as possible.

Here are 10 things that I think are important and will help keep your family safer while on the road:

My parents car after their August 2010 car accident, LUCKILY they walked away!

  1.  BUCKLE UP:  I'll admit that when I was growing up we didn't wear our seatbelts.  Times are different now, there are more cars on the road and people are driving at higher rates of speed.  Seatbelts really DO save lives.  
 2.  PAY ATTENTION:  When you are the driver of a vehicle you are responsible for every other person inside that vehicle as well.  Don't let distractions inside the vehicle take your attention away from what's going on outside the vehicle.

3.  OBEY THE SIGNS and SIGNALS:  Stop signs, flashing lights, railroad crossings, cross walks, yellow traffic signals... they are all there for your safety and the safety of others.  Make sure you obey all the signs and signals.  Yellow lights don't mean speed up and stop signs don't mean slow down!

4.  BE PREPARED:  Make sure to keep emergency supplies in your vehicle at all times.  Jackets, blankets, flashlight, jumper cables, snacks, water and a first aid kit are among the most important!  Hopefully you will never have to use them but if you do, you'll be happy they are available.

5.  SLOW DOWN:  Just because the speed limit says 60 mph doesn't mean it's safe.  Adjust your driving speed according to the outside weather conditions.  It's not safe to drive 60 mph if it's raining or snowing heavily outside and your visibility is decreased!  If you are driving directly into the sun, make sure you can see where you are going and what is in front of you.

6.  PULL OVER:  If you're feeling drowsy don't keep going!  It is best to pull over and take a nap if you need to rather than saying to yourself... I'm almost there.  With that attitude you might not make it to where you're going.  It's always better to arrive late than not at all.

7.  FILL UP:  If you're going to be headed out of town, make sure you have a full tank of gas.  A couple hour joy ride could turn into something longer than expected.  You might get stuck or take a wrong turn.

8.  TUNE UPS:  Make sure you keep your vehicle current on tune-ups and maintenance.  A quick routine check could make the world of difference.

9.  DRIVE DEFENSIVELY:  Be aware of other drivers on the road.  Just because you see them doesn't mean that they see you.  Being alert could serve as a very important tool for both you and the other driver.

10.  DON'T TEXT:  Texting while driving is a deadly combination.  Taking your eyes off the road even for a quick "HI" can prove to be deadly.  There isn't a phone call or text out there that is worth risking your life of the lives of others on the road.

Driving is a wonderful thing, but it shouldn't be taken lightly.  The choices you make when behind the wheel of a vehicle not only affect you but everyone else around you.  Be safe, drive carefully and enjoy where the road takes you.

Did you know that most automotive safety experts rank the windshield as a vehicle’s third most important safety component behind seatbelts and airbags? A properly installed windshield ensures the passenger-side airbag deploys properly and helps maintain a vehicle’s structural integrity in the event of a rollover. An improperly installed windshield could pop out during an accident. Without the windshield, a passenger can be thrown from the vehicle or struck by its collapsing roof - greatly increasing the chance of injury or death.

Safelite AutoGlass shares these useful tips:

  • Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin. 
  • A chip could turn into a crack at any time, often when you are least expecting it. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement.
  • Some unethical companies – windshield bullies -- take advantage of the fact that insurance companies cover the cost of the repair, so they’re using it as a way to file fraudulent charges to the insurance company when there isn’t really damage. These types of scammers are show up at car washes, gas stations and even go door-to-door and pressuring you to file unnecessary claims. If you suspect damage, go to a trusted vendor who will inspect the glass before performing work.
  • Forget do-it-yourself repair kits. The resin could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process… A vacuum is created over the damaged area and the resin penetrates and fills the finest micro-cracks. The technician pulls off the vacuum changer and the UV light hardens the resin. Safelite’s resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market.

About Safelite AutoGlass:

Safelite AutoGlass® was founded in 1947. Throughout our more than 60 years of service, our company has grown from a single store in Wichita, Kansas, to a national auto glass provider, serving nearly 4 million customers per year.

Through industry-leading 24-hour instant scheduling, convenient in-shop or mobile service, top-of-the-line materials and SafeTech™ certified technicians, you'll find that Safelite AutoGlass offers superior customer service, value and quality.

**I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30.

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