Spring Break safety tips

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Many  students in the area are celebrating Spring Break this week and for those of you who can actually afford to go out of town, News Leader Nine has some safe travel tips.

The Travel Manager at Columbus's AAA, Roxanne Towler explained, "Probably less people are going out of town and not going as far but travel is still important to people and its an opportunity to have one week with family."

AAA launched a new travel blog at www.AAATravelViews.com. It's main purpose is to help vacationers plan their escape.

"It gives you an idea about the local area, things to see and do and maybe it will recommend a person at a hotel that helped and you can look for that person," advised Towler.

After you've planned your trip, and buckled your seat belt, it's time to get rid of the distractions like cell phones, CD players and GPS systems because all this technology could put your life at risk.

Bob Dallas, with the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, told News Leader Nine, "Driving is the most dangerous thing we do. From age 1 to 38 in Georgia it is the number one cause of death. When we have distractions while we drive, we know it reduces the quality of our driving skills."

Columbus State University is holding a safe driving course for teens during Spring Break to teach students about the dangers on the road.

The class instructor, Sheryl Musgrove said, "It's hard to focus on more than one thing at a time when you don't know what's going on so for teenagers its important to open their mind and be more aware of what could possibly happen while they're driving."

The young drivers admit a classroom is not the ideal Spring Break destination. Ariel Wiley laughed, "It sucks. Everyone's calling from Panama City having fun and I say, I'm in driver's ed." But they know how valuable it really is. "I wish I was with them but learning how to drive is an important thing in life," said new driver Jamie Starke.

So when you get all geared up to head out of town, keep one thing in mind.

"Enjoy Spring Break, that's what its for. But don't let the most dangerous thing we do, driving, be the cause of a tragedy," added Dallas.

For those who haven't already headed out for your vacation, all the officials we spoke to just want to stress the importance of being cautious on the roads.

The CSU "Safe Driving" course is offered during the Spring Break and summer for new drivers or people looking to get a discount on their car insurance. For more information or to register you can call (706)507-8070.