Travel and safety tips for the holiday weekend

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 07/03/2020, 10:00 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) The Coronavirus pandemic won’t prevent people from celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend, and VNN has some information to help keep you safe doing it. With travel restrictions lifting but social distancing still recommended, AAA said 97% of summer trips will be road trips. Despite the number of travelers being down 15% compared to last July, it’s still a lot of people. And with less people flying, that means a majority of people will be out on the road. “Americans will get out and explore this summer though they’re taking a ‘wait and see approach’ when it comes to booking and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel. “When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their wanderlust.” When at the pump, AAA recommends wearing disposable gloves or using a plastic sandwich bag to avoid touching the pump handle. When back in your car, be sure to clean your hands with sanitizer or wipes. Thanks to the AAA COVID-19 Travel Restrictions map, you can check for updates on coronavirus cases and restrictions before you leave and while you’re on the road: They also recommend packing face coverings, gloves and cleaning supplies – like disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer – and a thermometer. OTHER ROAD TRIP TIPS Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive. Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic. Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area. If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated. Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road. In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. And, whether you are traveling or staying home to celebrate this year, Safe Kids Worldwide provides the following tips on fireworks and grilling: FIREWORKS SAFETY More than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room each year in the United States because of fireworks. Sparklers, which are commonly given to children during holidays and heat up to 1,200 degrees account for one-third of the injuries to children under five. If possible, attend public firework displays. Leave lighting fireworks to the professionals. Give children glowsticks instead of sparklers. Sparklers can heat up to more than 1,200 degrees and are dangerous for young children. Keep fireworks away from children. Make sure children stay are a safe distance away from a lit firework. GRILLING SAFETY Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill. Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flames can flashback up into the container and explode. Grill only outdoors! If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as garages or tents, barbecue grills pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to carbon monoxide. Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill. Never leave the grill unattended while cooking. The number one cause of residential fires is unattended cooking. And, always be sure to supervise kids in and around the grilling area to make sure they are protected from burns or fires.


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