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Safety tips for spring break travelers

Rose White • Mar 29, 2017 at 3:00 PM

For many, spring break is a great time to relax and have fun, but it’s also important to be safe.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke offered some advice for people who are traveling over the upcoming spring break.

Before leaving on an extended road trip, Hawke recommends getting your vehicle checked out and stocking it with an emergency kit, which should include jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, water and snacks, a first aid kit, a signal device like a road triangle, pocket knife, basic tools, a fire extinguisher, rain gear, and rope. He also suggests checking the vehicle’s spare tire and jack in case of a flat.

“If you break down, pull off the road as far as possible,” Hawke said. “Use caution if you have to change a tire. The risk is much greater at night.”

When driving between states or across borders, the road rules may vary slightly.

“Pay close attention to changes in speed limits,” the chief said. “And use extra caution in construction zones.”

Using GPS technology will help alert drivers to upcoming traffic problems and construction.

For people who are traveling internationally, “plan on delays at the border, and make sure passports are up to date,” Hawke said.

Hawke cautions those who like to drive through the night to listen to their body.

“If you get tired, pull over and rest,” he said. “Don’t drive if you are not fully alert.”

For people who are flying to their spring break destinations, Hawke advises paying attention during the safety orientation and being aware of the emergency exits.

He also has a few tips for taking care of luggage: “Keep valuables with you or in your carry on. Mark your luggage with bright-colored tape to identify it quickly.”

Hawke also offers some general recommendations for staying safe once you reach your destination.

“Familiarize yourself and your family with fire exits and fire escape plans” in hotels or motels, he said. “Don’t let young kids use elevators or go unsupervised in the motel.”

It’s also important to ensure personal safety while on vacation.

“Walk in groups and stay in well-lit areas,” Hawke said. “Pay attention to your surroundings.”

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