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The Texas Department of Transportation kicked off its "Be Safe. Drive Smart" summer traffic campaign Friday.

Summertime in Texas is the height of travel season, which means scores of people will be hitting the highways for long road trips, state park visits or lazy lake days.

Traveling long distances can put drivers at risk of falling asleep, getting distracted or becoming impatient. The Texas Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to stay alert and avoid drowsy or aggressive driving while behind the wheel this summer.

Tips to stay safe while driving this summer:

  •  Always obey posted speed limits and drive a safe speed for traffic, road and weather conditions.
  •  Be extra cautious driving through road construction or maintenance work zones.
  •  When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck or TxDOT vehicle with amber or blue flashing lights on the side of the road, move over a lane. If moving over is not possible, slow to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when you approach a stopped vehicle.
  •  Follow a safe distance behind vehicles.
  •  Drive with lights on to be more visible to oncoming traffic.
  •  Watch for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
  •  Take precautions to prevent drowsy driving, especially when traveling long distances.
  •  Never drink alcohol or take sedating medications before driving.
  •  Get plenty of rest before trips.
  •  Schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles. Rest for 15 to 20 minutes during each stop.
  •  Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m.
  •  Take advantage of the state's Safety Rest Areas and Travel Information Centers.
  •  For long trips, travel with a companion who can help someone stay alert and share the driving.
  •  Be patient and avoid driving aggressively or engaging with those who do.
  •  Plan ahead to allow time for delays. Traffic congestion can be a problem almost anywhere.
  •  Don't tailgate or flash your lights at another driver.
  •  Remember, the left lane is for passing only.
  •  Keep emotions in check and focus on driving.
  •  If aggressive drivers are encountered, don't engage. Give angry drivers plenty of room, avoid eye contact and if concerned about safety, call
  • 9-1-1.
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