Orange County Tax Collector

Safe Summer Driving

SummerDrivingFinal

Are You Hitting the Road This Summer?

According to a June 2024 WalletHub study, about 75% of Americans plan to take road trips this summer, with 33% of those traveling more than 250 miles from home.

Here are some tips for staying safe on the road.

How and What to Pack in Your Car

Evenly distribute the weight of your luggage, tools, etc. and keep a clear line of sight out of all windows. If you choose to use your overhead rack, make sure not to exceed its height and weight limits.

Pack for Safety@4x

Roadside Emergency Kit

  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Flat tire repair tools
  • Gloves and spare clothes
  • Basic tools and duct tape
  • First aid and medicine
  • Water and paper towels
  • Nonperishable food or snacks
  • Flares, signs or distress signals
  • Portable phone charger and cables

To prevent distractions and stay focused on the trip, stow your phone or put it in “Do Not Disturb Mode”. Review the route and navigation before you begin driving.

A Comprehensive Vehicle Check

Tires

  • Check tire pressure based on manufacturer guidelines and tread depth to make sure it’s more than 2/32 of an inch. You can also place a penny upside down in the tread to check: if all of Lincoln’s head is visible, you may need to replace the tire.

Fluid Levels

  • Fuel (or charge for electric vehicles)
  • Coolant, brake, transmission, power steering
  • Windshield wiper fluid

Internal

  • Radiator, pressure cap, belts and hoses
  • Battery age and cables
  • Oil and filters
  • Floor mats

Other

  • Lights
  • Wiper blades
  • Key fob batteries

Staying Safe on the Road

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Take Breaks

Though you may want to get to your destination as soon as possible, taking a short rest every two hours is recommended for your safety. Drinking water, having a snack, stretching your legs and other refreshing activities can improve your focus for when you begin driving again.

Follow the law by obeying local speed limits (the highest limit on Florida highways is 70 MPH) and buckling up your seat belt.

Be prepared for the weather, especially in Florida where sunny skies can quickly change to severe thunderstorms, hail, and even tornados. When heavy rain hits, turn on your lights and wipers while slowing down to prevent hydroplaning.

Stay cautious during high winds, which can rock or tip taller vehicles. If you see a broken traffic light treat it like a stop sign. Never drive through flooded areas.

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

Immediately turn on your hazard lights. Never get out of your car at a busy intersection or on a highway.

Call FHP for roadside help or to report dangerous drivers or situations. In an immediate emergency, please call 911.

If you can drive the vehicle, get to a safe place to inspect and repair it, even if it may cause damage to the wheel or rim. Your safety is more important.

Have sunblock, sunglasses, and hats to protect yourself from the sun if you must exit your vehicle. Stay in the shade if possible and drink water to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses.

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Kids and Pets

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If you’re on a long car trip, your time on the road is a great opportunity to teach younger passengers about safe driving. Set a good example for them!

Protect children from injury during a crash using proper safety restraints in the back seat of your vehicle. Visit nhtsa.gov/campaign/right-seat to search for car seats based on your child’s weight and age.

Pets should also be restrained in carriers in the back seat. This not only protects them in a crash, but also prevents the driver from being distracted and risking a crash.

Heatstroke

Summer driving means knowing the risk of heatstroke. Untreated, it can severely damage vital organs and be fatal.

Heatstroke can easily happen inside any vehicle even if the windows are cracked and at outside temperatures as low as 60 degrees.

NEVER LEAVE ANYONE INSIDE A CAR IN WARM OR HOT WEATHER. A child’s body temperature can rise 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. Older adults and pets are also more likely to get heatstroke.

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Teen Drivers

SpringBreak-seatbelt

Buckle Up

Teens, follow this simple rule: Your vehicle doesn’t move until all passengers, both in the front and back seats, are securely buckled up for every journey without exception. Shockingly, over half of the passengers who lost their lives in cars driven by teenage drivers in 2021 were not wearing seat belts.

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Eyes on the Road

Around 10% of teen drivers engaged in fatal crashes in recent years were distracted during the incidents.

SpringBreak-impaired

Don’t Drive Impaired

In 2021, 19% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.

The law in Florida is very clear. Do Not Drink and Drive. For drivers under age 21, there is a strict policy of zero tolerance for drinking and driving.

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