Summer Driving Safety Tips
Before you pack the car and head off on summer vacation, consider how to keep your family safe on the road. Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury in the United States, jeopardizing the well-being of your loved ones. According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, summer is actually the most dangerous driving season—not winter, as one might expect. More accidents occur during the summer months (approximately 18% more) than in winter.
Several factors contribute to these numbers, from an increase in road construction to more traffic on the roads. No matter where your travels take you this season, make your memories safe ones by following some basic summer driving tips.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Tires, whether under or over inflated, can lead to blowouts and accidents on the road. The proper tire pressure improves fuel economy, your car’s handling, and your tire’s life. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended summer tire pressure. Before taking those long highway trips, always verify that they are within the proper limits.
Do Not Exceed Weight Capacity
Most cars have maximum weight capacity, including cargo and passengers, so before you leave on that month long camping trip, weigh your gear. Take only what you need, and make sure you have a clear view out of all of your windows.
Limit Glare and Heat
The glare off other cars can seriously impact your view. Always wear sunglasses to maximize your summer driving visibility. For long road trips, keep lots of water handy and take frequent breaks. The heat from the sun can dehydrate you quickly, even if you do not realize it. Never leave pets or kids unattended in hot cars, and use a sunshield to keep your car’s interior from overheating too quickly.
Take Storms Seriously
Summer storms can make the roads slippery when rainfall mixes with the oil on the roadways. It takes about a half hour of steady rain to wash the oil away. If caught in a summer storm, slow down and turn on your headlights. Be respectful of other drivers on the road. If visibility becomes too obscured, pull over to the side of the road and leave your hazards on until the storm passes. When traveling through areas known for hurricanes or tornadoes, keep a radio on for updates or have a passenger check on a smart phone.
Make Sure Your Children Are Safe and Secure
Whether you are taking a long road trip or just driving to a nearby grocery store, if you have children in the car you need to make sure that they are safe and secure at all times while in the vehicle. While driving during the summer months there are usually even more cars on the roads then normal, making it even that much more important that your child passengers are buckled in age and size appropriate seat belts, car seats, and booster seats. The safest place for a child passenger of any age in an automobile is properly buckled in the back seat of the car.
Be Mindful of Others
Summer means you are sharing the road with motorcycles, bicycles, and construction workers. Keep everyone safe by driving respectfully and giving others a wide berth. Never share lanes with motorcyclists, and increase your stopping distance to at least four seconds. When in a construction zone, be constantly on the lookout for pedestrians and workers. Obey all traffic signals, including signs for lower speed limits. Some of the most common auto accidents that occur during summer months are: Pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, distracted driving collisions, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, construction zone accidents, and drunk driving crashes.
Give Yourself Lots of Time
Long road trips, particularly with children, can be stressful. Give yourself enough time to take frequent pit stops to let the kids run around and burn off some energy. Stretch your legs and switch spots with other adults occasionally. Try not to drive more than five hours at a stretch, and opt for hotel accommodations instead of driving through the night. When it comes to summer driving, a proactive approach is best to maintain the safety of your passengers.
Have You Been Injured in a Summer Car Accident?
If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, you may want recourse for the parties responsible. Contact a car accident lawyer from Roden + Love, LLC for legal help with obtaining the proper compensation for your physical and or emotional recovery. Hospital bills and insurance claims take their toll emotionally and financially, and you may be eligible for compensation. To see if you have a claim today, get ahold of one of our Savannah personal injury attorneys at Roden and Love for a free initial consultation.