Who doesn’t love taking a drive on a beautiful summer day. But summer driving does have its challenges that motorists need to be cautious about when driving on highways as well as in neighborhood streets. The potential for serious motor vehicle accidents goes up drastically during these summer months. Beautiful, sunny weather conditions cause too many motorists to throw caution to the wind and make careless driving decisions such as speeding, or not paying close attention to their driving, or their surroundings.
During the summer months, not only are roads filled with the daily traffic and road construction and repair zones, but there are also travelers heading to their summer vacation destinations. Here is a brief compilation of some particular driving hazards to watch for this summer:
Summer Car Breakdowns
High temperatures can make existing tire damage worse and that can cause blowouts and flat tires. Overheating is another frustrating issue for drivers in the summer. The high temperatures and the increased use of a car’s air conditioner can cause cooling system problems and overheating. Things like low coolant levels, leaks or a broken electrical cooling fan can all result in your car overheating and other damage. You can easily avoid having these issues by having your car checked for any potential issues on a regular basis, especially before going on a long trip.
It has happened to all of us at one time or another, where we have been driving on a summer day and made a turn and were then nearly blinded by the glaring sun. The sun’s glare causes many accidents, particularly under clear skies at dawn or dusk. By keeping a clean pair of polarized sunglasses handy in the car at all times and making sure your windshield is clean inside and out, you can help to reduce the danger of sun glare and impaired vision.
With summer comes summer thunderstorms, often with heavy rainfall and little advance warning. Motorists need to be very aware of the dangers that can come from hydroplaning and should remember to reduce speed, increase the distance between you and the car ahead of you, and be especially mindful of the road conditions, accidents, flooding and road closures.
There are Two Seasons: Winter and Construction
Summer road repairs and construction are with us always. These projects can cause traffic backups, delays, frustration, and detours on many of our nations highways and roads. When driving through construction areas, always obey the posted speed limits, lane changes, shoulder restrictions, and lane closures. Be on the lookout at all times for those “Road Work Ahead” signs. Never has the term “drive defensively” been more appropriate.
There has been research done that shows teens and other inexperienced drivers have more accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of theyear. Teens are not as experienced motorists as someone who has been driving for many years. It’s important to stay alert at all times and be aware of the cars around you.
With summer driving there may be driving of long distances. Fatigue is a hazard that every driver needs to guard against. It is a good practice to take regular breaks on long trips, stopping to stretch, eat something, walk around, and generally take a break can be really helpful. If you are tired, don’t take any chances. Pull over in a rest area or other safe location and get some rest.
Tractor trailers spend a lot of time on our highways. It’s important to know how to drive safely and share the road with them. Try and stay out of their blind spots and keep plenty of room between you and the truck ahead of you in order to limit the possibility of a very, very serious accident or injury.
If you follow the guidelines above, chances are that you will have a safer summer driving. Talk to your teen about the hazards of summer driving as well and encourage him or her to drive responsibly to avoid accidents.