Tips to Travel Safely on the Interstate During Summer

Summer vacations with family and friends are exciting, but nothing puts a damper on the trip like sitting in traffic. With so many people traveling in the summer, the roads are more congested than usual. You can help keep your family and friends safe by avoiding distractions like texting and taking extra precautions like reducing your speed, turning on your headlights in the rain and adding following distance to increase reaction time. While the destination is important, a safe journey is paramount.

Here are a few tips for making sure your car arrives at your destination safely:
  • Before leaving, ensure your tires are in good working condition; 
  • Check your inflation pressure monthly, and add air when needed;
  • Check your tire’s alignment via a car dealer or autobody shop;
  • Rotate tires regularly and inspect the tread; 
  • Verify that lights and electrical equipment are working, top off fluids and check brakes and the car’s battery. 

You can also reduce hazards by traveling when the roads are less congested. VDOT released a list of the best times to travel through the Stafford and Fredericksburg area on I-95 this summer. Travel times are based on VDOT historical data and construction schedules. Weather or special events may influence conditions.  
I-95 Southbound
  • Monday-Thursday: 7-11 a.m. and 7-9 p.m.
  • Friday: 5–10 a.m.
  • Saturday: 5–6 a.m. and 6 p.m.-Midnight
  • Sunday: 5–11 a.m. and 7 p.m.-Midnight
I-95 Northbound
  • Monday -Thursday: 9 a.m.–Noon and 6-9 p.m.
  • Friday: 5–11 a.m. and 8–10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 5–10 a.m. and 10 p.m.–Midnight
  • Sunday: 5–10 a.m. and 10 p.m.–Midnight
Be aware that there was an expansion to the “Move Over” law in Virginia effective July 1, 2023. The change expands this protection to include any stationary vehicle displaying hazard lights, warning signs (like an emergency triangle), or flares. An example of this situation might be a driver who pulls over to the side of the road to fix a flat tire. The law still applies to any vehicles stopped on a road with flashing red, blue and amber lights. Move over a lane or slow down to keep other drivers and yourself safe.

To report road hazards, contact VDOT's Customer Service Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or visit my.vdot.virginia.gov.