Eight Tips for a Safe Summer Road Trip

July 05, 2016

Taking Simple Safety Precautions Can Save you From Major Problems on the Road

AAA Washington expects to receive 146,100 calls for emergency road service this summer, a 6.5 percent increase from last year.  So as you plan your summer road trip, don’t forget to make part of your packing list vehicle maintenance and driver and passenger safety.  The last thing you want to happen during your road trip is to have a vehicle breakdown or to be in a collision and someone gets hurt.

AAA Washington recommends motorists follow these safe driving tips.

  1. Conduct regular maintenance: A vehicle tune-up, oil change, battery check and tire inspection will go a long way in reducing the chances of a vehicle breakdown.  To find a AAA approved auto repair shop near you, go to
  2. Drive sober: Half of all traffic fatalities in Washington involved an impaired driver. Be responsible and don’t drive drunk or high. If you plan to drink alcohol or use marijuana, choose a designated driver before going out.
  3. Slow down: Speeding continues to be one of the leading contributing factors in fatal collisions on Washington roads.  Slowing down and not exceeding the speed limit will help reduce the chances of you being involved in a collision.
  4. Protect child passengers: Ensure your child’s car seat or booster seat is installed properly and fits your child. Go to for tips on car seat selection and proper installation. Never leave a child or a pet in a car, even for a few minutes, during the summer months.
  5. Avoid distraction: Inattention or distraction is the most frequent contributing factor among all collisions in Washington. Distracted or inattentive driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from diving, including cell phone use, texting, eating, drinking, grooming and using in-vehicle technology.
  6. Everyone wears a seat belt: Buckling up is the most important safety measure you can take to protect yourself in a crash as it helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Washington law requires every person 16 years of age or older who’s operating or riding in a motor vehicle to wear the safety belt in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.  And no person may operate a motor vehicle unless all child passengers under the age of 16 are either wearing a safety belt or securely fastened into an approved child car seat or booster seat. Also, children under age 13 must ride in the back seat.
  7. Pack your patience: You will not be the only one on a road trip to their favorite summer location. Plan ahead, give yourself enough travel time and try traveling during off-peak times so that you don’t begin your trip stressed, hurried or impatient.
  8. Save on gas: Yes, gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in 11 years, but there’s a lot you can do to improve your fuel efficiency on your summer road trip. Pack light, make sure your tires are properly inflated, get a maintenance inspection and don’t store things on the outside of your vehicle.

The Northwest offers a wide variety of places people can visit for a summer road trip. A little planning and making responsible driving decisions will go a long way in keeping you and your family and friends safe during your summer road trips.

AAA Washington has been serving members and the traveling public since 1904. The organization provides a variety of exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts, maps and personalized trip planning, to its million plus members. In addition, its full-service travel and insurance agencies provide products and services for members and the public. Additional information is available through the company’s offices in Washington and northern Idaho, at, or by calling 1-800-562-2582.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Cook (425) 646-2055