By Laura Garcia, program specialist with Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Driving in the summer is just a matter of common sense. Arrive alive to your destination, have fun and come back safely. Be aware of these lifesaving tips, before you hit the road.
- Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order. Check out your tires, the battery, brake lights, turning signals and headlights. Your cooling system is going to get a workout in the summer heat, so make sure that the fluid levels filled.
- Will you be pulling a trailer or camper? Make a safety check of those systems there, too. It is imperative that everything is in good working order, before you get on the road.
- It should go without saying that you do not drink alcohol and drive. Even a single drink can impair your driving skills. And driving to an unfamiliar place on German highways has its own distractions, without adding alcohol to the mix.
- Avoid driving if you are tired. Your reaction time is slowed and you may not have the same ability to react to danger.
- Bad weather can appear very quickly, especially Bavarian storms. Be extra cautious when driving in rain, fog and other unusual weather conditions. Slow down and stay alert.
- Always wear your seat belt!
- Watch your speed. There are even parts of the Autobahn that have speed limits, so be aware of them.
- Use your turn signals. Let the other drivers know your intentions to help avoid collisions.
- Be alert to construction on the roads. Summer months bring a lot more construction projects in Germany, so be careful. Slow down when driving through the area, and be alert to movement of the construction workers and equipment.
- Driving at night can have its own dangers. According to the National Safety Council, driving at night is three times more dangerous than driving in the daylight hours. Be aware of animals and people on the side of the road. Make sure that your windshield is clean inside and out. Avoid distractions by putting away your cell phone, turning down the radio volume and asking you passengers to keep you focused.
The 2020 Summer Sense Campaign runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. So every Wednesday, listen for ASAP’s broadcast segment on AFN Bavaria. Then return to this article for the discussed recipes, quizzes and more.