After months of braving the cold, summer has finally arrived in Southern Illinois. While drivers throughout the Belleville area are accustomed to dealing with the sleet, snow and ice that make for treacherous driving conditions during the winter months, the summer months can also be hazardous.
Experts believe that lower gas prices are just one factor contributing to the anticipated 56 percent of U.S. drivers whose summer vacation plans this year include a long road trip. With more cars, SUVs and motorcycles joining the thousands of large commercial trucks that already routinely travel along area highways, safety concerns related to heavy traffic and congestion are a concern.
Are you planninng a summer road trip?
If you are among the millions of Americans who plan to hit the road this summer, it's important to be prepared for delays and to follow these four safe driving tips:
1) Get a good night's sleep - An alarming 37 percent of U.S. drivers admit that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Even being drowsy, increases the likelihood of committing driving errors that can have devastating and deadly consequences.
2) Start seeing motorcycles - The summer months area prime time for motorcyclists and other motorists must be extra vigilant when it comes to watching out for and sharing the road with motorcycles and other motorists alike.
3) Beware road construction zones - Summer road travelers are bound to encounter a construction zone or two along their journey. To ensure for the safety of road construction crews and other motorists, it's important to abide by reduced speed limits in construction zones and posted speed limits on all highways.
4) Be a courteous driver - Congested roadways and hot temperatures combined with construction zones and lane closures can be a recipe for aggressive driving and incidences of road rage. National statistics show that 66 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive drivers.
We are all human and, at some point, many of us have likely driven after we stayed up too late or cut off another driver. Unfortunately, these types of driving mistakes and errors in judgment can have serious consequences including devastating injuries and deaths. To help ensure that you and your loved ones arrive safely at your summer vacation destination, it's important to keep these safe driving tips in.