Brought to you by ISU Campus Security and the ISU Safety Committee June, 2002
Safe Summer Road Trips
It's summer, the kids are out of school, the weather is warm & sunny, and it's time for those vacations and road trips. It also means road construction zones, more cars on the road, and engine problems. Following are excerpts from a guide on how to make your summer driving a breeze (taken from the Summer 2002 Family Safety & Health Magazine of the National Safety Council):
- Alcohol - Drinking & Driving Don't Mix. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash at some point.
- Blind Spots - Don't get in a person's blind spot, especially truck drivers'. Don't hang out in what they call the "No Zone," the area where a truck driver or bus driver can't see you or your vehicle.
- Defensive Driving & The Three Second Rule- Whether you are on a summer vacation or short jaunt to the park, always drive defensively, and expect the unexpected. Don't tailgate. Keep your following distance by choosing a stationary object along the road, then count one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three. You should not pass the object until you get to three.
- First Aid & Vehicle Safety Kits - Always carry at least a travel first aid kit and vehicle safety kit. The first aid kid should include bandages, tweezers, gauze tape, and latex gloves and a face mask should you come upon a person in need of emergency help. Vehicle safety kits should include jumper cables, reflective triangles or flares, blankets, nonperishable foods, water, flashlights, and other goodies.
- Know How To - Jump start your vehicle and change a flat tire. Know where the spare tire is stored and that it is in good shape.
- Lights & Smart Cars - Daytime running lights are becoming standard equipment on new cars and have been shown to increase safety, according to the NHTSA. Current and future innovations include smart air bags, collision avoidance systems, drowsy driver detection devices, and intelligent highways that could be as smart as the vehicles on them!
- Restraints - All occupants in a vehicle should wear their seat belts at all times. Make certain kids are buckled in child safety restraints appropriate for their age and size.
- Phones - A cell phone can be a lifesaver, However, it can also cause a collision. Always pull off the road when you need to dial or answer your cell phone.
- Quiet - There can be lots of distractions when you are tooling down the highway. Keep kids occupied with items or activity's appropriate to their age.
- Work Zones - "Give 'Em A Brake, "Road Safe" and "Please Slow Down - My Mommy Works Here" are all signs used to deter people from traveling too fast around road construction crews. In 2000, 1,093 people died in highway construction zone fatalities, according to NHTSA.
- Rest Stops & Rest - The purpose is to stop and take a break. Don't fall asleep at the wheel. To avoid drowsy driving, take a driving buddy along on those long road trips, and schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles. And of course, get a good night's sleep before any road trip.
R is For Road Rage: To keep your emotions in check follows these tips:
- Loosen up. Keeping yourself worked up while driving won't get you there any faster.
- Recharge. Consider your trip a time-out from the rat race and an opportunity to recharge.
- Make your journey heavenly. Pleasurable travel depends on your mood inside your car.
A new attitude on the road will increase your ability to operate your vehicle safely and skillfully.
Slip, Slap & Slop!
More than one million people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every year.
Experts agree that reducing sun exposure prevents most skin cancers. Among the suggestions:
- Seek shade when outside.
- Protect your skin with clothing and include a broad brimmed hat.
- use sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or more. Apply it before going outside, use thickly on all sun exposed areas, and reapply every two hours.
- Wear wrap around sunglasses to protect your eyes and the area around them.
- Avoid tanning beds and other sources of UV light.
- Try to stay out of the strongest sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
"Slip, slap & slop" is one way to remember sun prevention measures. It stands for "slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, and slop on the sunscreen."
Know the UV Index
In many areas, the National Weather Service sends out the next day's likely levels of exposure to UV rays at noon. The Index predicts UV levels on a 0-10+ scale in the following way:
|Index Number||Exposure Level|
The higher the number, the more likely a person will get a blistering sunburn. This gives you an idea of how much exposure to UV radiation you are likely to receive. If it is high, you might want to reschedule outside activities or take more precautions if you are out and about.