As we head into the summer months, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants to remind motorists to ensure their vehicles are properly maintained and in good repair. Due to the current health crisis, vehicles may have been idle for longer periods than normal and have not received the same daily attention to maintenance details.
“We understand the public is eager to get out and travel, but health and safety should remain a priority for everyone on California’s roadways,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Remember, fewer cars and less congested roadways are not an invitation to speed or engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel.”
As statewide restrictions lessen and travel increases, this summer is likely to see a surge of traffic.
The CHP offers the following recommendations to help make your summer travel safer.
Drive sober; never drive after consuming alcohol or while under the influence of legal or illegal drugs.
Avoid distractions when operating a motor vehicle.
Make sure vehicle maintenance is up to date. Hot summer temperatures can put stress on engines. Tires, belts and hoses, fluid levels, interior and exterior lights, and wiper blades must all be in good condition.
Program any mapping systems, whether in your phone or in your car, in advance. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has a mobile app for traffic information, or visit http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov for highway conditions. Prepare for device malfunctions or loss of connection by knowing your route before you leave.
Buckle up. Be sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt. Check that young passengers are using the correct child safety seat for their height and weight.
Never leave pets, children, or the elderly alone in a car for any length of time. California laws address how to handle situations in which children or animals are left in vehicles. However, the best approach if you see an unattended child or animal is to call 9-1-1.
Expect road construction and plan for delays. Remember to “be work zone alert” and move over or slow down when passing any stationary vehicle displaying emergency or warning lights, including emergency vehicles, Caltrans vehicles, and tow trucks.