Now that summer is in full swing, many people are taking road trips and the Texas Department of Transportation wants to give travelers some safety tips.
“Traveling long distances can put drivers at risk of falling asleep, getting distracted or becoming impatient,” a news release by TxDOT said. “The Texas Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to stay alert and avoid drowsy or aggressive driving while behind the wheel this summer.”
The transporation department gave the following recommendations for summer road trips:
• Always obey posted speed limits and drive a safe speed for traffic, road and weather conditions;
• Be extra cautious driving through road construction or maintenance work zones;
• When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck or TxDOT vehicle with amber or blue flashing lights on the side of the road, move over a lane. If moving over is not possible, slow to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when you approach a stopped vehicle;
• Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you;
• Drive with your lights on so you are more visible to oncoming traffic;
• Watch for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians;
Take precautions to prevent drowsy driving, especially when traveling long distances:
• Never drink alcohol or take sedating medications before driving;
• Get plenty of rest before your trip;
• Schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles. Rest for 15 to 20 minutes during each stop;
• Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m.;
• Take advantage of the state’s Safety Rest Areas and Travel Information Centers;
• For long trips, travel with a companion who can help you stay alert and share the driving.
Be patient and avoid driving aggressively or engaging with those who do:
• Plan ahead to allow time for delays. Traffic congestion can be a problem almost anywhere;
• Don’t tailgate or flash your lights at another driver;
• Remember, the left lane is for passing only. If you’re in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let the driver by;
• Keep your emotions in check and focus on your own driving;
• If you encounter an aggressive driver, don’t engage. Give angry drivers plenty of room, avoid eye contact and if you’re concerned for your safety, call 9-1-1.