By now summer is upon us and the usual summer exodus is approaching as every year, which according to official forecasts made by Anas will bring about 20 million people to the highways . A massive shift for the holidays that will see Italians go from the north to the south of the country, in search of a bit of sea and a well-deserved rest under an umbrella. Although it is a period of celebration at the same time it is also an extremely critical moment for road safety.

In fact, during the summer accidents increase exponentially, episodes that involve thousands of motorists and passengers every year. It is therefore essential to follow the basic rules of safe driving, a handbook of road rules that allow you to minimize the risk of accidents, to protect the safety of your family and that of other road users. So let ‘s see 10 fundamental rules for driving safety, to enjoy your vacation time in peace.

1) Check the car before departure

Driving safety during car holidays starts with the maintenance of your vehicle. Before traveling, it is necessary to have the machine checked in advance , carrying out all the necessary checks to ensure the correct functioning of the driving systems. For example, it is important to check the oil level, the engine coolant and the brakes, the condition of the filters, the shock absorbers and the air conditioning system. Furthermore, it is necessary to check the wear of the tires and, if necessary, replace them before departure.

2) Check the vehicle documents and the validity of the driving license

Another fundamental check to travel safely and avoid unpleasant inconveniences is that relating to the vehicle documents. Every car or motorbike must be inspected after the first 4 years from the registration date and every two years thereafter. Therefore, before setting off, it is important to check the expiry date of the inspection and, if necessary, to regularize the vehicle documents before leaving. It is then necessary to ensure that the car insurance expires and the validity of your driving license.

3) Organize a smart start

Holiday dates are often required, based on the availability of holidays granted by your company. However, it is still possible to arrange a smart departure depending on the travel itinerary. First of all, you need to find out about the route to follow, to choose the best time and avoid stretches involved in work and detours. Furthermore, it is important to check the weather forecast, equipping yourself with cooler bags and bottles of water in case you have to travel along particularly congested motorway sections.

4) Always travel rested and in good condition

To ensure a safe journey for the whole family, it is essential to rest well before driving. Tiredness and fatigue are among the main causes of road accidents, especially during the summer, due to dehydration and high ambient temperatures. When you have to drive for several hours, it is a good idea to go to sleep early, obviously avoid drinking alcohol and using drugs, but also taking drugs that could induce drowsiness and decrease attention behind the wheel.

5) The importance of breaks while driving

Once on the road it is essential to take a break at least every 2 or 3 hours of driving, avoiding marathons of 8-10 hours because fatigue significantly decreases concentration and slows down reflexes. Wasting a few minutes stretching your legs and drinking a coffee or some water will surely not cause excessive delays on your schedule. It is therefore better to leave the house half an hour earlier and leave enough time for scheduled stops, to always drive with the greatest possible attention.

6) Keep a safe distance

While driving in the summer it is important to maintain a large safety distance, which must be commensurate with the speed of the vehicle. It is therefore not a fixed but variable distance, which allows safe and risk-free braking in any climatic condition. Suffice it to say that the average reaction time of a motorist ranges from 1 to 2 seconds, enough time to travel 36 meters when traveling at a speed of 130 km / h. Therefore it is advisable to always leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front, doubling this amount in case of wet or slippery asphalt.

7) Respect the speed limits

To travel safely in the summer you must respect the speed limits even more carefully. If, under normal conditions, exceeding the limits exposes you to the risk of often fatal accidents, when the roads are heavily trafficked and congested, this percentage increases even more. Unfortunately, when driving in the summer you have to take queues and long waits into account, avoiding letting go of the accelerator as soon as you glimpse some free road. Furthermore, compliance with the speed limits makes the holiday even cheaper, since it protects you from the possibility of running into fines and penalties.

8) Drive carefully and carefully

Driving prudence is one of the golden rules for safe travel, in fact distraction is the main cause of road accidents in Italy and around the world. This is especially true in the summer, when you are continually distracted by the music setting, children crying or arguing, messages arriving on your smartphone or adjusting the air conditioning. In this case it is advisable to delegate these tasks to the passenger seated in front, avoiding being distracted and always remaining focused on the road and on the other vehicles.

9) Check the rules present abroad

If most Italians travel from north to south in the summer, thousands of people decide to spend their summer holidays in a cool place by going abroad. This situation requires a series of additional checks before departure, especially with regard to vehicle documents, insurance and driver’s license. If you travel with a car rented through the long-term rental formula, you must remember to contact the car rental company before leaving, to request the green card, the necessary insurance documentation and the authorization to drive the car in the country of destination.

10) Check your car insurance coverage

As a last tip to travel safely during the summer holidays you need to check your car insurance. In particular, it is important to check for useful services such as roadside assistance and vehicle repair on site at partner workshops. Furthermore, in the case of trips abroad, it is important to ascertain the validity of the Motor TPL coverage, the insurance coverage for Civil Liability, usually accepted in all countries that adhere to the green card. To avoid unpleasant surprises, just get in touch with your insurance company before the trip, requesting all the necessary information and checking the coverage of the policy.

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