MDOT encourages motorists to prepare for vacations

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 12, 2015

The Mississippi Department of Transportation would like to remind travelers to ensure their vehicles are properly prepared for summer road trips.
In a release, MDOT offers many tips for drivers, which includes checking tires for tread wear and proper pressure.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Ben Siebert said many drivers neglect their tires.
“You can’t tell how low the tire pressure is just by looking,” he said. “You can hydroplane real easily due to low tire pressure.”
MDOT also encourages motorists to check their vehicle’s battery, belts, hoses, brakes and headlights, along with the level and quality of the engine’s oil and antifreeze, the release states. The release also recommends replacing windshield wiper blades and ensuring the air conditioning system is ready for hotter temperatures.
Siebert said one of the main problems his department encounters is distracted driving.
“Some drivers are using their cell phones, reading Facebook, eating and putting on makeup,” he said. “Distracted driving is one cause of accidents.”
On the topic of accidents, Siebert cautioned motorists against the new trend of drivers slowing down to take pictures of accident scenes, because the act can cause traffic to back up on the interstate.
“One wreck can turn into three or four because of rubbernecking and following other vehicles too closely,” Siebert said. “When drivers encounter an accident on the road, it’s important for them to slow down to about 50 miles per hour, not 15 to 20.”
Siebert would like to remind drivers that traffic on I-10 can come to a complete stop at any time.
In good weather conditions, the speed limit on the interstate is 70 miles per hour, Siebert said. However, during inclement weather Siebert said it’s important to slow to a reasonable speed.
Recently, Siebert worked an accident where the passenger’s femur was broken because they had their feet resting on the dashboard over the air bag.
“Air bags deploy at a rate of 200 miles per hour,” Siebert said. “The force can break a person’s femur bone. So, keep your legs off the dashboard.”
MDOT also recommends furnishing vehicles with a first aid kit, flashlight, basic repair tools and a spare car key, the release states.
For more information visit the MDOT’s website at

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