Be Safe on Summer Roadways - Part 1

Limit distractions. The cell phone is an obvious distraction, but routine activities shift the driver's attention away from the road as well. Take time to adjust radio and temperature controls, program a navigational device and secure loose objects before leaving the driveway. Pull off the road to eat, drink and respond to cell phone messages. Make a conscious decision to focus on driving each time you get behind the wheel.

Always wear a seat belt. Seat belts keep occupants secure when a crash suddenly alters vehicle trajectory. Illinois law requires all passengers buckle up. Place pets inside crates to keep them safe. Be sure everyone in the vehicle has a seat belt on before engaging the vehicle.

Drive defensively. Follow traffic laws and be aware of other motorists on the road. Obey the posted speed limit. Signal turns and lane changes. Avoid driving while drowsy. Keep emotion out of the driver seat. Make sound decisions when you are driving.

Adjust to changing road conditions. Rain, glare, construction and heavy traffic can make travel challenging. Be alert for pedestrians (especially in residential areas where children are playing), bicycles and electric scooters as well. Pay attention to the roadway and slow down when necessary.

Maintain your vehicle. Confirm your vehicle is in good operating condition. Check coolant and oil levels. Be certain belts and hoses are in good shape. Properly inflate tires. Be familiar with your vehicle's safety features (brake assist, blind spot warning alerts, stability control, back-up camera, adaptive cruise control, etc.) and how these systems work.