Whether you’re setting off on your annual summer road trip, driving to the airport for a vacation abroad, or simply taking the occasional day trip here and there, you need to know that summer driving can be particularly hazardous. In this article, we will be looking at a few of the common dangers awaiting you if you’re taking your car on the roads during this most beautiful and yet troublesome season. Read them, heed them, and make every effort to avoid them!
Driving Hazard #1: Your car vs. the heat
You might love the hot weather, but your car might not be so keen. When temperatures are raging, the heat can cause maintenance issues in and around your car. The hot road surfaces can cause tire blowouts; you might have to deal with a cracked windshield when the hotter temperatures cause your glass to expand, and along with the ever-rising temperature, your engine might overheat. Thankfully, you can alleviate any maintenance problems in advance.
Check the pressure and treads of your tires before a journey, and replace any unfit for purpose with summer tires that are purpose-built for warmer temperatures. If your windscreen has already shown signs of damage, perhaps with a tiny chip caused by a loose stone on the roads, follow the tips in the previously linked article to prevent any further problems caused by the heat. And ensure your car’s cooling system is topped up with the necessary fluids, as this will not only stop your car from overheating but prevent you from overheating too when you’re dealing with the stress of a breakdown!
Driving Hazard #2: Summer traffic
The roads are busier than ever over the summer months, with every Tom, Dick and Harriet out in their cars on their annual vacations or road tripping adventures. There will be more bikes on the road too, with motorcycle enthusiasts enjoying the thrill of the cool wind on their faces as a respite from the summer sun, and more trucks traveling from A to B as businesses get busier during the tourist season. As a consequence, the chances of an accident are high.
To protect yourself from an accident, you might want to hit the roads at quieter times of the day when possible, such as earlier in the morning or later in the evening, depending on your plans. If this isn’t possible, you should monitor your own driving, being sure to stick to road safety laws to rule out your part in any accident that could be caused. And despite the assistance of professional law firms after an accident has taken place, such as Keller and Keller Law Firm who will help you in the event of a nasty truck collision, you should still watch out for distracted summer drivers, and where possible, sideline away from them.
Even on shorter journeys, you might feel the effects of the heat and consequently become tired and drowsy, so you need to take care. For starters, ensure you get plenty of sleep before your journey, as this will give you a fighting chance of staying awake and alert when on the roads. Open your windows as wide as you are able when driving, as cool air in your face will counter the sleep-inducing temperatures. And take a break whenever you feel tiredness setting in. During your breaks, take a short walk, hydrate yourself, and if you’re on a long journey, perhaps take a short nap in your car, provided it is safe for you to do so.
Driving Hazard #4: Road rage
Thanks to the blistering hot sun, many road users get more than a little hot-headed when on the roads during the summer. You might get enraged yourself, especially when other drivers do something to annoy you, or other drivers might get angry with you, for whatever reason. As a consequence, strong words might be exchanged, hand signals will be less than polite, and in worse-case scenarios, an accident might occur, or a heated exchange might become more violent. First and foremost, you need to protect yourself from your own road rage, so you must always try to remain calm should a situation or another driver upset you. Play relaxing music on your sound system, ignore any driver causing you problems, and pull over if you need to gather your nerves. You might also get a dashcam fitted within your vehicle, as if any other road user does behave irresponsibly, you will have evidence to present to the police, as well as your insurance company and legal team should an accident occur.
We hope you have a fantastic summer, but to secure your chances of having a wonderful time, be sure to avoid the driving hazards we mentioned. Not only will you stay safer on the roads, but you will have fewer expenses to cover because of a car maintenance problem or an accident.