Ten Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe on the Road
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Ten Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe on the Road

As the weather gets warmer and kids get out of school, Summer is the perfect season for family outings and vacations. A significant amount of our travel time is likely to be spent in a car (even after we fly to a destination). While we enjoy family fun during a road trip, it's important to take preventive measures to increase safety in driving.

I didn't know that windshield is ranked as a vehicle’s third most important safety component behind seatbelts and airbags until I read it from Social Moms, who has teamed up with Safelite AutoGlass on a new blogging program on road trip safety. I learned that a properly installed windshield ensures the passenger-side airbag deploys properly and helps maintain a vehicle’s structural integrity in the event of a rollover, while an improperly installed windshield could pop out during an accident. Without the windshield, a passenger can be thrown from the vehicle or struck by its collapsing roof, greatly increasing the chance of injury or even death.

Safelite AutoGlass has provided some safety tips that I think are helpful for all of us.

1. Do not ignore a chip in your windshield! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.

2. Have a windshield repair to prevent a chip from turning into a crack. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement. Safelite AutoGlass saves approximately 35,000 tons of CO2 during windshield production each year, enough to fill the Empire State Building approximately 19 times. In addition, it saves the number of damaged windshields being sent to the landfill by approximately 12,500 tons annually.

3. Choose professional service over a DIY repair kit. The resin in do-it-yourself repair kits could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process and its resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market. Safelite AutoGlass provides mobile service–-wherever your car is–-often within 24 hours of your initial call.

Here are some more tips for keeping your family safe on the road I've collected over time.

4. Have a mechanic checkup before a long road trip. If you're driving your own car, have your tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioning checked by a qualified mechanic to make sure your car will work properly. If you're driving a rental, check the basic safety features carefully before you drive out.

5. Make sure your child's car seat is correctly installed. A disturbing research finding is that four out of five car seats aren't installed 100% correct, which has put children at serious risk for injury or death. Call 866-SEAT-CHECK to schedule a free safety seat inspection by a professional.

6. Pack a road trip emergency kit. An appropriate emergency kit should include a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, tools for a tire change, flares, blankets, and clean drinking water. The kit could help you survive a car accident or breakdown.

7. No texting or chatting over the phone while driving. The person who is driving should be strictly prohibited from performing any activity on her cell phone. Talking over the phone can be very distracting even when a wireless device is deployed. Ask a passenger on the car to make the phone call instead if necessary. Texting is even more dangerous as both your eyes and hands have to participate in the action when they should focus on the road and the wheel.

8. No drowsy or drunk driving. The driver should have plenty of rest and keep a clear head while on the road. It's great to have more than one adult drivers taking turns. But if you're the only one who can drive, take more stops and nap when you feel the need to. No alcohol drinking should be allowed at all. Alcohol could make you drowsy too.

9. Pull over to read a map or program your GPS. The road condition needs your full attention. Any distraction can be extremely dangerous. Don't panic when your get lost. Stop the car in a safe zone if you want to read a map or change things on your GPS. Or ask another adult in the car to help you re-route.

10. Protect your family from sunburn. Make sure all family members have their own sunglasses and hats. Apply sunblock to all exposed body parts periodically. Equip your car with removable sunshades if possible. Remember not to leave your child alone in a parked car, the interior of which could reach 100+ degrees within minutes.

Do you have any unique safety tips to share? The first 100 bloggers who submit a quality post sharing their tips for keeping their family safe on the road will receive a $30 Amazon Gift Card from SocialMoms & Safelite AutoGlass! Don't miss your chance to participate in this meaningful and informative program.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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