> Average auto fatalities per 100,000: 21.7 (tied 3rd highest)
> Auto fatalities/year: 1,014 (11th most)
> Lifetime medical costs due to 1-yr. auto accidents: $8,254,510 (15th highest)
> Lifetime work loss costs due to 1-yr. auto accidents: $964,444,444 (13th highest)
> Pct. commuters traveling 30 mins. or more: 32.85% (19th highest)
Read more: The Most Dangerous States to Drive In - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/05/24/the-most-dangerous-states-to-drive-in/#ixzz23eCXRjxT
If you’re going on a road trip this Thanksgiving weekend, the last thing you want is a broken down vehicle on the highway.
Across the entire nation, the number of traffic fatalities is up since last year, and one police captain says many of them are because of poor vehicle maintenance.
Captain Keith Gaston, a 32-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol stopped by the WOKV newsroom to share his most helpful tips for road safety.
He says when the economy started slowing down, people deferred vehicle maintenance. A set of tires could run around $1000, so many would rather hold off as long as they can.
According to Gaston, tires failure is the single biggest problem the FHP is seeing today.
As the weather changes, so does tire pressure. Make sure the pressure matches the requirement written either on the tire itself or in your owner's manual.
“And make sure they’re all the same size,” Gaston said. He advises not to leave a spare on the car. They’re only to get you to the shop to replace it.
Checking the tread is important, as driving with worn out tires can be extremely dangerous.
Gaston said to check the tread, all that’s needed is a dime.
“Stick it in the tread,” he said. “And if you see the head on the dime then you have gotten too little tread. You need more tires.”
He says many people often overlook cleaning their vehicle’s headlights. The bugs and dirt that are stuck on them detract from your visibility, so it’s best to clean them completely.
And if you’re driving up north, you’ll most likely run into some wintry precipitation. Make sure your windshield wiper blades aren’t worn out. It’s easy to forget this when we go through periods without rain, but new blades will come in handy for road trips.
Gaston says unless you're making a hands free call, using your cell phone while driving is distracting.
“This probably has grown to be the single largest problem that we have to deal with on the highway,” he said.
Finally, he says you should always slow down in a construction work zone. More of them will be popping up here in Duval in the next six months.
“It’s not only just you, but it’s the construction workers out there,” he said. “They’re just out there trying to do their job and trying to be safe.”
He says if your car breaks down in the zones where there are no shoulders, you’ll have nowhere to pull over.