From driving tips to grill handling skills to safety on the water, ensure a safe Labor Day
You might be gearing up for that last hoorah over the Labor Day holiday before summer comes to an end. The long weekend is usually celebrated near a body of water with someone grilling out and maybe accompanied by a few drinks. AAA Carolinas urges you to practice safety this year to prevent any accidents.
- Take boating safety instruction and get a nationally approved boating safety education certificate. Seven out of 10 boating incidents are caused by operator error.
- Wear a life jacket—always. And make sure every passenger does so as well.
- Don’t drink for the same reasons you don’t drink and drive on land.
- Check the weather before you go and keep an eye on it while you’re on the water. Weather can go from delightful to dangerous quickly. So stay safe and get off the water quickly if you see bad weather approaching.
- Have an emergency kit on the boat (stored safely so it does not become a hazard) equipped with a flashlight, duct tape, a bucket, a first aid kit, a whistle, ropes, a mirror, a fire extinguisher and extra life jackets.
- Adhere to the boat’s capacity restriction and keep the weight on the boat balanced.
- Learn the rules of the water and use common sense when operating a boat. Pay attention to the moves of other boaters on the water to avoid collisions or dangerous wake.
- Don’t forget sunscreen and water and know the signs of heat illness – especially with the extreme heat the Carolinas are having.
- Keep your grill at least two feet away from flammable structures – such as decks, siding and trees.
- Keep children away from grills.
- Properly dispose of hot coals per the instructions of your grill.
- Never grill indoors or in an enclosed area.
- At the pool, keep a vigilant eye on all small children and avoid distractions that will take your attention away from the pool.
- Pools should be enclosed completely to restrict access to small children that are unsupervised.
Before hitting the road:
- Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. Check the battery life, engine coolant and tire pressure.
- Map your route in advance. Have the directions printed out or designate a passenger to be in charge of phone directions to avoid the distraction behind the wheel.
- Consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
- Keep anything of value in the trunk or hidden in the car so that it is not visible through the windows.
- If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers on your pit-stops and accompany them to restrooms during stops.
- Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
- Keep a cell phone (fully charged) safely secured in your vehicle for emergency calls.
- Have an emergency kit complete with water, medicine, snacks, jumper cables and a first aid kit.
During the trip:
- Never drive distracted. Put the phone away. Disconnect and Drive. Avoid behaviors such as eating, applying make-up and adjusting the navigation system while driving.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Don’t speed. Drive according to the weather and road conditions.
- With extreme heat projected in the forecast across most of the Carolinas, remember to NEVER leave your children or pets in the car, even for a short amount of time. The vehicle will heat much quicker and to a temperature much higher than outside.
- If you encounter rain and wet roads:
- Avoid cruise control (when driving in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle increases in cruise control mode)
- Slow down and leave room. Avoid hard braking or turning sharply and give yourself ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance.
- If you feel your car begin to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction in which you want the car to go and avoid slamming on the brakes as this will upset balance.
- Expect heavy traffic and delays, as the roads will be busy. Avoid road rage by using turn signals, maintaining a good distance behind the vehicle in front of you and never engaging in interactions with other drivers. Exercise patience and understanding.
- Never drink and drive or get in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.
- Obey the Move Over Law when passing emergency vehicles on the side of the road.