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Shell's Summer Driving Safety Tips

24 June 1999

    As the summer begins to heat up, the nation's highways become crowded and dangerous. Preparing your car for the change in season and knowing a few simple tips can help make your summer a lot safer and more fun. As part of its "Count on Shell" driving safety campaign, Shell Oil Company is providing motorists with the following safety tips to help prepare for the busy summer roadways:

1. If your tire blows out, don't slam on the brakes. You could lose
    control completely. Instead, take your foot off the gas and
    concentrate on staying in your lane. Slow down gradually and pull
    off the road to a safe location.

2. If your car starts to skid, take your foot off the gas pedal and
    turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of
    the car to go.

3. If you are involved in an accident, stay calm, move out of
    traffic and find a safe place to wait for the police and
    emergency crews. Sometimes the safest place to be is in your car.
    Warn other motorists by turning on your flashers and raising your
    hood or trunk. Watch for traffic, fire and wires and turn off the
    ignition of all vehicles involved in the accident.

4. If your car goes into deep water, release your safety belt
    immediately after the impact with the water. Then the best thing
    to do is to try to get out quickly through the window, because
    power windows can short-circuit in water. If you can't get out
    through the window, try the door. At first, the water pressure
    will probably hold it closed, but don't panic. As the water
    rises, it will equalize pressure and the door should open.

5. Always use seatbelts when transporting children. When used
    properly, child safety seats are life preservers. They reduce an
    infant's risk of death by 69 percent and a toddler's by 47
    percent. More than 1000 children who are unbuckled die every

6. The safest place in the car for children is in the back seat--in
    the center, if you have center belts--and in an appropriate
    vehicle seat. The most distance from impact usually means the
    most protection.

7. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, some people
    may need cut-off switches for air bags. For more information and
    for permission to have an on-off switch installed in your
    vehicle, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety
    Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at or

8. If you come upon an accident, don't make things worse. Pass well
    beyond the wreck and out of harm's way. Use your flashers, raise
    your hood or trunk, and watch for traffic, fire and wires. Turn
    off the ignition of all vehicles.

9. Never move a victim unless there is an immediate,
    life-threatening danger such as fire, leaking fuel or rising

10. If emergency crews are racing to a crash ahead of you, pull over
    to let them safely pass. And don't assume the first ambulance or
    police car you see will be the only one. Watch for other
    emergency vehicles following closely behind the first.

11. A good first aid kit should contain the requisite items:
    bandages, adhesive tape, scissors, blankets, latex gloves,
    flashlights, flares and reflectors, gauze pads and rolls, safety
    pins and alcohol swabs. Keep spare change handy for public phones
    even if you carry a cell phone.

12. Alertness levels drop sharply about the time one usually goes to
    bed. In nine out of ten drivers, three hours of driving after
    one's normal bedtime produces an almost uncontrollable

13. If you are alone in the car and you think you are being followed,
    don't go home. You'll just bring a potential attacker to your
    home and loved ones. Drive to a well-lighted public place like a
    hospital, store, service station or police station and then draw
    attention to yourself--even lean on your horn.