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As summer approaches, expect to see more people out and about using various methods of transportation.  Residents might opt to bike or walk to work and families will be packing up the car and hitting the roads for vacations. Whether you are travelling by car, bike or foot this summer, make sure to follow these tips to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Motorists: If you are planning a long road trip, make sure that your vehicle is up to the task. Properly maintaining your car before your trip can limit the unforeseen road blocks that you may face along the way. If you plan on getting a rental car, look over the company’s guidelines or policies and make sure that you are properly insured. Here are some things you can check on your own:

  • Check your tire pressure.
  • Check your fluid levels (oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield wiper fluid).
  • Test your lights and make sure your battery terminals are clean and corrosion-free.
  • Find more safety tips from the Car Care Council

If you come across any issues before, during, or after a trip, seek a certified auto repair shop. If you do not have a reliable shop that you regularly use, check out our guide to selecting a mechanic.

Cyclists: Especially in big cities, such as Boston, many people opt to bike to work when the weather gets nicer. Cyclists should also take safety precautions to make sure they are fit to travel:

  • Check your tire pressure and inflate them, if needed.
  • Wear bright colors and have reflective materials and lights on your bicycle, especially at night or in times of low visibility.
  • Use hand signals when you are changing lanes or turning, so that other motorists are aware.
  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet.

Pedestrians: Like cyclists, pedestrians will be a much more common occurrence on roads this summer. If you plan on walking, follow these safety tips:

  • Avoid distractions, especially if you are crossing an intersection. Look up if you are using your phone and make sure you can hear sirens or alarms if you are listening to music.
  • Use designated crosswalks if you have to cross a street or intersection.
  • Wear reflective gear or carry a flashlight if you are walking at night or in times of low visibility.

No matter what method of transportation you use, make sure that you are being safe and responsible. Following these safety tips and using common sense will help you and other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians enjoy your summer. For more information about being safe on the road, you can visit the National Highway Transportation and Safety Association’s website.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Arbitration Program, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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