The summer vacation road trip is a tried-and-true tradition for American families. Unfortunately, increased highway traffic combined with unsafe driving practices leads to more car accident fatalities during the summer months.

Data from the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety indicates that traffic deaths are typically highest in July and August, the prime months for a road trip. Take these safety steps during your summer travel to limit hazards for your family and others on the road.

Avoid distracted driving

Smartphone use behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous driver actions. It is especially important to set a good example for teens, who are at the highest risk for summer driving incidents. Besides texting and app use, talking on the phone, eating and performing other actions behind the wheel can take your attention off the road.

Stop speeding

Driving over the speed limit significantly increases your risk for a crash. In fact, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Florida notes that 300 traffic deaths each year in the state are associated with high speeds. Avoid accidents as well as hefty fines for speeding.

Don’t drink and drive

It is no surprise that traffic fatalities are much more common on holidays such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, a statistic often attributed to higher alcohol consumption on those days. If you are planning to indulge, avoid getting a DUI and potentially harming yourself or others by calling a rideshare service.

Service your vehicle

Minor car issues can become hazardous when you are driving a long distance. Before taking a trip, having your tires rotated and inspected, get an oil change, have your battery checked and make sure you are up to date on any required repairs because of recalls on your vehicle. While getting a tune-up, pack an emergency kit with flares, an extra cellphone battery, first aid kit, tools and other essential items you will need in the event of a breakdown.

The statistics about summer spikes in vehicle accidents are sobering. Take these safety actions to lower your risk of a dangerous collision.