Spring Break Road Trip Survival Tips

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, April 1, 2009

SPRING BREAK ROAD TRIP SURVIVAL TIPS:

DESIGNATE A SOBER DRIVER FOR BEACH WEEK

(ATLANTA) The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reminds motorists that many school systems across the Southeast will be closed for spring break next week and that means an increase in motor vehicle traffic throughout the state.

“It’s a Southern tradition,” says Director Bob Dallas of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). “Many Georgians take their first family vacations of the year in early April. But with all those extended trips it’s also time for drivers to think about travel safety.”

GOHS Director Dallas says to avoid becoming drowsy at the wheel drivers should plan their getaways allowing for rest stops. “At the end of the day your vacation destination may be your goal, but travel safety while getting there should still be your top priority,” says Dallas.

Here are some common sense Spring Break safe driving tips from GOHS:

Always buckle-up. Make sure your kids are properly buckled-in their car safety seats too.

Obey the speed limits and be courteous.

Don’t be an aggressive driver, especially when highway vehicle counts are running high and driver patience is running low.

“And this tip’s especially important,” says Director Dallas. “If you’re the one driving, postpone your partying for your final destination. Alcohol and Spring Break may go hand in hand once you reach your beachside destination, but alcohol makes a deadly travelling companion behind the wheel.”

DUI patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers across the state during the next two weeks. “That means impaired drivers of all ages go to jail, no exceptions,” says Dallas.

Police in Georgia will also be watching for underage alcohol violations because thousands of teens are injured or killed in traffic crashes due to underage drinking every year.

“We’re hoping Georgia’s teen drivers will pay attention to our Spring Break enforcement warning,” says Dallas. “The picture we have is no party. National crash data shows that young males in Georgia are most likely to be involved in DUI car crashes during this Spring Break because they’re most likely to drive while impaired. They’re also in the demographic least likely to wear safety belts.”

“So our goal is to save more lives this year by especially convincing teen drivers and their passengers that seat belts save lives,” says Dallas. “But first we’re asking all teens to avoid alcohol completely. And if anyone even thinks there’s a remote chance there will be drinking, they should plan a designated driver in advance.”

“We’re also asking parents to renew their commitments to never be a party to underage drinking,” said GOHS Director Dallas.“ Please remember, giving teens alcohol is not only wrong – it’s against the law: Underage Drinking has Adult Consequences.”

The fact is every year teens continue to consume alcohol at parties hosted in their own homes or in the homes of friends and then are hurt or killed on our highways.

“Our best advice for students old enough to legally purchase alcohol during Spring Break is, don’t get behind the wheel if you have had anything to drink,” said GOHS Director Dallas. “Impaired driving is no accident – nor is it a victimless crime.” Georgia supports Mothers Against Drunk Driving in their reminder that the perfect end to a perfect Spring Break is a safe and sober ride home. FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK!

“The irony is even with all these warnings and words of advice, car crashes continue to be the Number One cause of death among our teenagers,” says Director Dallas. “So before parents let their teens make a Spring Break roadtrip with other teens, they need to know the odds against them…Because teen passengers can often make a life-and-death difference for teen drivers.”

With just one peer passenger, a teen driver actually doubles their risk for a fatal crash.

With three or more peer passengers, that risk increases four to five times.

“We know the risks increase with more teen passengers in a vehicle and that is a risk we can teach young drivers to control themselves,” says Dallas. “Teens are by nature inexperienced, take more risks, and thus are more dangerous drivers. If teens must drive together, there are ways they can help keep each other safe:”

Reduce distractions in the car.

Wear safety belts.

When asked, help to navigate.

More than half the teens who die in crashes are passengers. They raise their own risk when they don’t wear seat belts. “Teens often have a feeling of invincibility,” says Dallas. “We all need to help dispel that myth and educate teens that they have more risks involved simply because they are teenagers…And when alcohol or drugs are introduced into this complex equation, the odds against teen driver survival simply go off the chart.”

So cops are cracking down during Spring Break. In Georgia, “It’s Over The Limit, Under Arrest.” The reason behind Georgia’s no-exception DUI law is simple but sad. One-out-of-three Georgia fatal highway crashes is caused by impaired drivers. Alcohol and drugs are always identified as major contributing factors to Georgia’s highway death toll and half the crash victims are unbuckled when they die.

For more information on impaired driving prevention this Spring Break see www.madd.org , or www.StopImpairedDriving.org , or visit us on the web at www.gahighwaysafety.org .