Raising safety belt use 5 percent nationally would prevent 40 fatalities and 1,674 injuries, and save $91 million a year.
In Ohio, more than 122,000 people were involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2000. Of the 1,284 killed, two-thirds were not wearing seat belts.
Nationally in 1999, nearly 12,000 drivers and passengers not wearing safety belts died in traffic crashes. More than 60 percent of the 3,000 children killed were not wearing seat belts.
Before you take off on an extended trip, check the oil, tire pressure, and fluid levels for the brakes, cooling and steering systems, and the battery.
Stop every few hours for food, restroom breaks or stretching your legs. Eating while driving can be hazardous, as can restless children and frustrated parents.
Don't drive through the night. Be fully refreshed for the continuation of your road trip by getting a good night's sleep in a hotel. If you feel sleepy, pull over for a quick nap. If you can't pull over, bring an alternate driver with you so you can take turns behind the wheel.
Avoid road rage. If someone is provoking you, let that person pass and then let it drop. If you find yourself yelling and getting angry, play it safe and pull over for a short break.
If possible, take your road trip in the largest vehicle available to you. This will provide more room and comfort, and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the death rate in small passenger cars is more than double the rate in the largest cars.