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Travel plans are one of the hottest topics of the summer. Whether meeting family at the coast or taking a road trip to Las Vegas with friends, vacations are at the center of many conversations. With everyone planning their trips, it is not surprising that routes to popular travel destinations can become increasingly congested during the summer months - over the 2013 Memorial Day weekend alone, approximately 31.2 million people traveled by automobile!1 Although road trips may invoke images of driving along a wide-open, sunny highway, poor planning, bad driving conditions, traffic and other drivers can shatter these visions and lead to dangerous driving conditions.
More people travel by motor vehicle than any other form of transportation in the United States, due in part to the degree of mobility it provides at relatively low cost; however, driving is not without its dangers. Early estimates indicate there were 34,080 people who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012.2 Knowing the risks for becoming involved in a crash may help you avoid a traffic accident by improving your driving habits and increasing awareness about what to watch for from other drivers. Here are some facts to consider3:
Fortunately there are things that you can do to keep yourself, family, friends and other travelers safe while on the road. Below are some tips for staying safe3:
Summer travel should be a time for fun, sun and relaxation. A little prior planning can help you enjoy your hard-earned time off safely and with minimal stress. For additional tips and resources to help you plan your next road trip, visit:
1. American Automobile Association. AAA projects Memorial Day travel to decline by 0.9 percent as auto travel increases slightly and air travel declines by eight percent. http://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/memorial-day-travel-forecast/. Published May 22, 2013. Accessed June 13, 2013.
2. United States Department of Transportation: National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2012. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811741.pdf. Published May 2013. Accessed June 11, 2012.
3. National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Focus on safety — Cool tips for a safe summer trip. http://www.safercar.gov/SummerDrivingTips. Accessed June 7, 2013.
4. National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Traffic safety facts 2011 data: Overview. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811753.pdf. Published April 2013. Accessed June 11, 2013.
5. United States Department of Transportation. Stop aggressive driving. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Aggressive. Published October 2000. Accessed June 10, 2013.
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