Whether it’s a weekend away or the vacation of a lifetime, a little time away from home can be full of fun and needed. With a little extra planning and attention to detail, vacations and business trips can still be safe, enjoyable and productive.
It is always wise to be knowledgeable about your destination, to have planned our trip carefully, and to be courteous guests when you travel.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO PLAN A SAFE TRIP
- · Start early. Allow enough planning time to research your destination and to find the best routes.
- · Take advantage of resources like the Automobile Club, visitors’ bureaus, and websites to plan your trip and make reservations.
- · Learn what conditions are like in the place you plan to go. If you’re leaving the country, check the US State Department for travel advisories.
- · Get appropriate inoculations or certificates of inoculation that you might need.
- · Make sure your identification, passports, driver’s license, emergency contact lists and insurance are all up to date.
- · Have enough cash and credit for your planned trip and to handle any emergencies that might arise during your travel.
TO PACK FOR A SAFE TRIP
- · Strictly obey rules on what you can and can’t carry on an airplane. (For details, Click here)
- · Never carry weapons, explosives, flammable items or disabling chemicals
- · Sharp objects, tools and some sporting goods may be carried in checked baggage, but not in carry-on bags
- · Do not leave unprocessed film in checked bags
- · Don’t lock your luggage. Instead, carry a few plastic cable ties to secure zippers. If Federal Security Screeners need to open and search your bag, they will leave a note inside the bag and use a cable tie to close the zipper again.
- · Put personal belongings in clear plastic bags so that screeners can see them without handling them.
- · Pack footwear on top of other items in your suitcase.
- · Don’t pack food and drink items in checked baggage.
- · Place your name, home address, itinerary, and destination inside each bag.
- · Bring only as much luggage as airline rules permit.
- · If you are carrying gifts, wait to wrap them until you arrive at your destination.
TO PROTECT YOUR HOME IN YOUR ABSENCE
- · Arrange to stop your mail, newspapers, and other routine deliveries.
- · Have a neighbor keep plants watered, pick up packages, and check the house from time-to-time.
- · Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with a trusted friend, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that August is the worst month of the year to ride or drive. While accidents can happen anytime, there are certain times of the year where it pays to really pay attention or make different choices when you ride.
National Car Accident Statistics (2009)
- There were more than 5.5 million car accidents in the United States. Nearly 31,000 were fatal, and more than 2 million people were injured.
- The majority of fatal crashes involved only one vehicle (61 percent).
- Nearly half of all fatal crashes occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or higher.
- The deadliest month for car crashes was August. More than 2,864 fatal crashes occurred in 2009.
- Most crashes happened between 5 and 5:59 p.m. on weekdays, and between 2 and 2:59 a.m. on weekends.
- Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children and teenagers.
- At any given moment, 812,000 vehicles were being driven by someone using a handheld cell phone in the U.S.
- An average of four children ages 14 and under were killed every day in auto accidents. Nearly 500 were injured daily.
- While statistics continue to improve, 32 percent of fatal accidents involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
- About 31 percent of fatalities were caused by speeding (10,591).
TO TRAVEL SAFELY BY CAR
- · Before you go, safety-check your vehicle’s hoses, belts, radiator, coolant, oil, battery, tires and spare, filters, windshield wipers, lights, and turn signals.
- · Always wear your seatbelt, and ensure that children under 12 years of age are in the back seats and in appropriate seats and restraints.
- · Keep maps and papers ready and within arm’s reach.
- · Select your radio station before you start the engine, so that you won’t be distracted later.
- · Follow local laws governing the use of cell phones while driving.
- · Never leave children or pets in a closed car.
- · Don’t bring agricultural products across state lines, and never carry fruits and vegetables out of a quarantined area.
- · If you plan to travel past borders, make sure you have car insurance that will protect you in case of an accident. Bring all documentation: your driver’s license, passport, and proof of ownership of your car.
- · If you plan to go beyond the free trade zone near the border, you need a temporary importation permit for your car.