For millions of Americans, summertime means vacation time. And with money being tight for a lot of people in California and elsewhere, often that vacation comes in the form of a car trip. And while no parent wants to get into a car accident with their kids in the car, sometimes circumstances can get in the way of good intentions.

It goes without saying, but one of the simplest preventative measures is also the easiest: making sure everybody, especially children, is wearing a seatbelt. Data show that time and time again, survival in a car crash is much more likely when people are buckled in safely.

Another safety measure introduced into cars in the last several years is airbags. While they are credited with saving many adult lives, their angle of deployment can be harmful to children, particularly in the front seat. Kids should always be in a proper car or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle.

Along with summer fun comes summer heat. In a parked car, temperatures can rise very quickly. Kids can more easily overheat in vehicles because their young bodies don't disperse heat the way full-grown adults do. So you want to make sure that kids are always well-hydrated with water and that they are never left alone in a vehicle. In fact, many people recommend calling emergency services if you see a child left alone in a hot car.

It should be mentioned as well that while kids need water when you're traveling, you should secure those cups and bottles. In a crash, items like those or even toys or cellphones can be turned into dangerous projectiles.

Source: 48 News, "Keeping kids safe in car on vacation," Bobby Shuttleworth, July 25, 2012