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AAA: End of summer road trip safety tips

AAA has a few reminders that can keep the party going, and save a life in the process.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — With the unofficial end of summer around the corner, AAA is reminding drivers how to be safe on the road.

For some, Labor Day Weekend is the last chance for a family vacation before the school year starts. AAA has a few reminders that can keep the party going and save a life in the process.

RELATED: AAA: Start of school is around the corner, drivers pay attention

Two of the most important things drivers can do to add an extra level of safety to the trip is making sure seat belts are being used, for all passengers, and that distractions while in the vehicle are put away. That includes cell phones.

AAA’s campaign to eliminate distracted driving encourages drivers “Don’t Drive Intoxicated, Don’t Drive Intexticated.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said distracted driving kills an average of 9 people and injures 1,000 each day in the United States. It's as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

“With so many taking to the roads, we remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel and their minds on their driving. We lose too many people to motor vehicle crashes each year. Don’t become a statistic this holiday.” states Georjeane Blumling, public affairs vice president for AAA Tidewater Virginia.

AAA offers more tips to make those road trips both fun and safe. 

Car Care Tips:

  • Oil - Check both the level and condition of the car’s motor oil. Consult the owner’s manual for recommended oil change interval and suggested grade of oil.
  • Battery - Make sure the battery terminals and cables are securely attached and free of corrosion.
  • Radiator - Check the antifreeze/coolant level and top off with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water if needed.  Do not remove the radiator pressure cap when the engine is hot.
  • Tires - Check the air pressure and look for damage, bulges, and excessive or uneven tread wear.
  • Windshield Wipers - Make sure your wipers can keep your windshield clean and streak-free.
  • Light and Signals - Check headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Keep all lights clear of dirt, especially headlights.
  • Use headlights at all times – so others see your vehicle more easily.
  • Emergency Kit - Should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit. 

Driving Tips: 

  • Check the weather forecasts along your planned route – so you are prepared for conditions.
  • Make sure you are well-rested.
  • Share the driving duties with other passengers.
  • Always Buckle Your Seat Belt and put children under 8 are in appropriate child safety restraints.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on your driving.
  • Stay abreast of local forecasts both at your departure city and your destination

RELATED: Older drivers distracted 8 seconds longer by in-car tech, AAA finds

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