Safe summer vacations require advance planning

Each summer, millions of people take a vacation.

Some vacation alone, some with their friends, and many take their family along.
Learning sound travel skills can contribute not only to a more enjoyable vacation, but help travelers return safely at journey’s end.

Vacation planning
When planning a vacation, good preparation is vital to success. It is important to outline each trip from Point A to Point B.

This simply means considering the things that must be accomplished prior to departing for vacation, as well as the potential risks faced during the time away.
Lock all doors and windows throughout the house before departing and at the hotel while on the road.

Unplug most electronic items, especially those that are expensive or may have valuable data on them.

Call and suspend newspaper and mail delivery during the vacation.
Leave a radio or a low watt light on in the house; this can be viewed as an indication that someone is home.

Driving safety
A driving vacation can be a lot of fun, but don’t leave safety and common sense behind. Here are the basics for a safe vacation.
Before departing, remember to:
Do a Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS) Report online at, and discuss travel plans with a supervisor.
Check each vehicle’s battery, tires, belts and fluids, or have it serviced before driving.

Have a qualified technician check the air conditioner.
Check the oil. When towing a trailer or boat, switch to motor oil with higher viscosity.

Pack an emergency kit that includes water, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight, equipment to change a tire, and a first aid kit.

Make sure child safety seats and booster seats are properly installed.
On the road, remember to:

Ensure all occupants are buckled up, with children in the back seat.
Obey speed limits and all roadway signs.

Drive calmly and avoid entanglements with aggressive drivers.
Take frequent breaks — at least every two hours — and avoid driving when tired.
Be especially careful around railroad crossings.

Avoid driving in the “No Zone” around trucks. Remember, if you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
Slow down in work zones, obey all signs and pay attention to the vehicle in front.