For many, summertime means vacation and traveling to various places on their bucket list. While guidelines around the pandemic may affect travel plans this summer, driving safety is always something to keep top of mind no matter the reason or season.
Summer weather brings different challenges and conditions to consider when hitting the road. In June through August of 2019, there were a total of 9,025 fatal motor vehicle crashes. In the same year, 53 children died of vehicular heatstroke. This summer, choose to be prepared for what the summer may bring. By reviewing summer driving safety tips, you can promote the safety of yourself and your family.
Understand The Effects of Heat on Your Body
Summer heat can be intense on your body as well as that of your child’s. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water and wearing proper sun protection. A pair of polarized sunglasses can help protect your eyes from damage and enhance your vision on the road, especially during the early morning and late afternoon.
Heat exhaustion can also cause drowsiness. “You should never get behind the wheel of a car if you feel sleepy” warn Chicago accident lawyers at Duncan Law Group, “Drowsy driving can lead to a driver falling asleep, causing him or her to lose control of the vehicle and harm others in the area.” If you feel too tired to drive, opt for a ridesharing service or ask another licensed driver to take over the wheel instead.
Understand The Effects of Heat on Your Car
Extreme heat can affect both your body and your vehicle. Ensure your car is in good working order by visiting a trusted auto shop or checking yourself. Pay close attention to your vehicle’s fluid levels as well as the tire pressure and tread. Intense summer heat can affect your vehicle’s ability to brake and could even cause tire blowouts.
Use Extra Caution on Holidays
Certain holidays and weekends can mean more intoxicated drivers on the road. July 4th and Memorial Day are often associated with drinking, which can mean an increased likelihood of a drunk driving accident.
If possible, avoid driving during holiday weekends. If you do need to drive, plan to be off the road during the late hours of the night and the early hours of the morning.
If you plan to drink, coordinate a plan for a sober ride home. A sober friend, rideshare service, or taxi are all easily accessible options.
Check the Weather Forecast
Summertime usually means sunny weather and a warm climate. In some areas, summertime weather patterns could mean flash flooding, thunderstorms, and monsoons.
Prior to hitting the road, check the weather forecast for your entire trip. Being informed of the weather conditions can help you plan the safest route to your destination and prevent unforeseen delays due to inclement weather.
Stock Your Vehicle
Sometimes even a well-maintained vehicle can break down or a random weather condition can change summer plans. Before you drive this summer, put together a comprehensive emergency roadside kit to keep in your car.
Some of the most important items to include in a roadside kit include:
- Battery bank to charge a cell phone
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire
- Tire pressure gauge
- Jack to change tire
- Nonperishable food
- Emergency blankets
Drive Safe Anytime
While summer often brings favorable weather, it can also bring unique conditions and challenges to the road. By implementing these five summer driving safety tips, you can help mitigate the chance of a serious accident or having your summer plans derailed. Wherever you decide to travel this year, safety should always come first. Enjoy a safer summer behind the wheel!