6 Tips for Summer Driving

By Jesse Sokolow on 23 June 2015
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It’s that time of year again, when the sun shines bright and people across the country embark on vacations with their friends, families, and loved ones. While there may not be any snow to deal with on the road, there are still numerous factors that can make summer driving a challenge. Indeed, U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that summer is the most dangerous driving season, with an average of 18% more fatal accidents taking place in the period June through August compared to December through February. Here are six tips to better and safer summer driving:

1.)       Be aware of crowded highways and local roads

It’s summer, and that means that not only will the roads be congested, but they will be full of sub-par and inattentive drivers.  Statistically, teen drivers are responsible for more car accidents than any other age group, and since school’s out, there will be more of them on the road.  Combine that with there being more drivers out due to vacations, and that many vacationers and travelers are unfamiliar with the roads they drive, it is extremely important to keep your eyes on the road and be on high alert at all times.

2.)       Manage the heat

Keep your sunglasses within reach and, especially in warmer climes, use a sun shield to keep the car cool when parked. Don’t leave children or pets in the vehicle unattended. Finally, the summer heat will quickly dehydrate driver and passenger alike so always have a supply of water on board.

3.)       Keep track of the weather

Summer storms can make the road very slippery, especially in the first few minutes of rainfall when the rain mixes with the dirt and oil already on the pavement. Experts say that it takes at least 30 minutes of steady rain to rinse the oil and dirt off the road.

4.)       Perform regular check-ups on your vehicle

Before leaving for longer trips, it’s important to run a routine check of all major car components. Be sure to check the lights, battery, hoses, belts, and fluids for wear and proper levels. In addition, make sure to check the air conditioning, as driving in hot temperatures with no relief can be both challenging and life-threatening.

5.)       Check your tires

Summer heat causes tires to expand, and as such, it is important to check your tires regularly. The weather could easily lead to a blowout in a worn tire, and even if they are checked before every single drive, always make sure you have a properly inflated spare wheel as backup.

6.)       Keep an emergency kit in the car

The hot summer sun can be unpleasant to drive in, and in the unfortunate event that one should break down or have an accident in the heat, it is vital to have emergency rations and equipment nearby. An emergency kit with jumper cables, extra water, and a flashlight can literally save lives, and having these items is a necessary precaution to take before setting out on any summer driving trip. (Photo: Accura Media Group)

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