Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Tips For Keeping Our Families Safe On The Road

I am a member of SocialMoms and they have teamed up with Safelite AutoGlass for a new call for blog submissions. They have asked me to share my top 10 tips for keeping my family safe while traveling on the road. You may read more about that request here.

My family and I enjoy traveling. The truth is that we must travel to go anywhere. We live in a tiny town of 1,200 people and our only store is Dollar General. I love Dollar General but in order to get fresh groceries we must travel 30 miles one way. To keep my family safe, I have an automatic check list that we mentally go over every time we step towards our car.

1. Check your vehicle tires: My grandpa taught me to always check my tires and to make sure that they are properly inflated and have good tread on them. A low or bald tire will cause driving issues and a flat tire can be a nightmare on the road side. In case of an emergency, make sure that you have a spare tire that is in driving condition in your vehicle. While I like to avoid having to use a spare, I have peace of mind knowing that it is there if I happen to need it.

2. Check your windshield wipers: Make sure that your wiper blades are working properly. You never know when it might rain and poor blades can cause visibility issues during a rain shower.

3. Check your windshield for chips: A windshield chip could easily turn into a crack at any time. This often happens when you are least expecting it. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement. With many insurance companies, there is no deductible for the repair. I am told that scheduling a windshield chip repair is easy! Companies like Safelite AutoGlass provide mobile service – wherever your car is – often within 24 hours of your initial call.

4. Check your vehicle gauges: I always check my car gauges when I start up my car. I make sure that I have plenty of gas and that the check engine lights are not lit up. I let the car warm for a few minutes so that I may check the oil gauges also.

5. Check your childs car seat: My daughter is only 6 and weights 45 pounds. She is still in a car seat. I make sure that her car seat is fitted securely and buckled in in her spot in our car. I check the shoulder straps to make sure that they fit snuggly but not too tight. I want my daughter to be both safe and comfortable.

6. Buckle up! This is my number one safety rule for everyone. Driver, passenger, front seat and even back seat riders all need to buckle up. In Texas, this is the law but regardless of what state I am driving in, I will buckle up. To me, this is a no brainer. Protect those that you love. Safety first.

7. Turn the radio down: I like to listen to the radio in the car but I keep it at a low volume especially if I have passengers in the car. I like to be able to hear them talk and I don't want them to have to shout over the volume of the radio. A low volume radio also allows me to be more aware of my driving surroundings too. I can hear cars honk or sirens blow if needed.

8. Vehicle Stickers: Make sure that your vehicle inspection sticker and state tags are in date. I sure don't want to have to pay a huge fine for not paying attention to this major detail.

9. Scheduled vehicle services: Make sure that you maintain the regularly scheduled maintenance duties that your car requires. If you treat your car nicely and provide oil, water, gas, washer fluid, etc, your car should last a long time.

10. Pull over or talk hands free: If you have a cell phone and you receive a phone call, be sure to pull over or use your hands free device for answering your call. This is important. Please don't text and drive. I make sure that my cell phone is turned off when I get in the car. I don't want to reach and grab it out of habit and cause an accident.

Summer is a fun time for familes. It means family vacations, reunions and day trips. Remember that safety is importatant. Please be sure to follow the speed limit and warning signs that are posted for our safety. A traffic ticket can sure spoil an adventure.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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