(CNN) – Memorial Day weekend brings the start of the summer driving season. Drivers shouldn’t let the excitement of those long drives to the beach and vacation destinations trump safety, especially since the stretch between now and Labor Day can be one of the most dangerous times of the year to be behind the wheel.
In time for summer road trips, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has renewed its call for Americans to simply buckle up. NHTSA says seat belt use reached an all-time high of 87 percent in 2013. Still, about half of Americans who died in car crashes, were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
When school lets out, teens tend to do more driving, and inexperience can put them at greater risk for accidents. Parents should remind teens to avoid distracted driving and urge them to avoid using their smartphones in the car. Limit the number of passengers, and set ground rules on driving at night.
And drivers of all ages should remember to take it slow. The warm weather is prime for road construction, leading to detours. And summer drivers are often on vacation, navigating unfamiliar roads, and may be more unpredictable than usual. Keep a distance, to keep safe.
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