Everyone’s aware of the dangers of winter driving. However, summertime poses its own set of dangers. While you may not have to worry about snow and ice, there are other hazards to be aware of.
The Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday periods are particularly dangerous, and traffic fatalities often increase over these periods. The following five tips can help make your summer travels safer, whether you’re making a quick jaunt to the grocery store or are going on a road trip.
1. Make sure your vehicle is road ready
Too many of us ignore vehicle maintenance until something becomes a problem. However, performing routine car service can help make your vehicle safer. Check your fluid levels, tire pressure, lights and windshield wipers. Schedule an oil change if you haven’t done so already. You should also check recall notices to ensure there’s nothing you need to address with your vehicle.
2. Put together an emergency kit
You may already have a winter emergency kit. If so, you can probably set the snow shovel aside (although you never know, it may still come in handy). If not, ensure you have a cellphone charger, a first aid kit, roadside flares, a flashlight, jumper cables, emergency blankets, water and food.
3. Pay attention to your fellow roadway travelers
Warm weather and cabin fever can lead to an increase of cars, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians on the road. Share the road, follow at a safe distance, watch your speed, and avoid engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
4. Keep an eye on the weather
While they may not garner the attention of a crippling ice storm or blizzard, summer storms can still make driving hazardous. Flash flooding, washouts, and hailstorms can all wreak havoc on summer drivers. Pay attention to the forecast and keep an eye on sudden changes in the weather. If you’re on the road and things are looking bad, find a safe place to ride out the storm.
5. Avoid alcoholic beverages
You’ve been hearing this your whole life, but it always bears repeating. The dangers of drinking and driving cannot be overstated. Save your toast to summer for the end of your journey.