7 Essential Summer Driving Safety Tips

As the solar angle continues to tilt toward the summer solstice and temperatures climb higher, many of us start dreaming of road trips, beach outings, and mountain adventures. Amidst the excitement of summer driving, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. With increased traffic, construction projects, and hot weather conditions, summer journeys can present unique challenges for drivers. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, over the past 5 years, the summer months were the 90 deadliest days for drivers in Washington.  To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the road, here are some essential considerations for summer driving safety.

  1. Vehicle Maintenance: Before embarking on any summer road trip, it’s imperative to conduct thorough vehicle maintenance. This includes checking tire pressure, tread depth, and overall condition. Overinflated or underinflated tires can affect handling and traction, particularly in hot weather. Additionally, ensure that brakes, lights, and fluids are all in optimal condition. Regular maintenance not only enhances safety but also reduces the risk of breakdowns, especially during long journeys.
  2. Stay Hydrated and Rested: Summer heat can lead to dehydration, causing fatigue and impaired thinking while driving. It is essential to stay hydrated throughout your journey. Carry an ample supply of water and drink regularly, especially during extended drives. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine or sugary beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration. It is also important to take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and rest. Proper rest and hydration will improve alertness and help you avoid collisions.
  3. Plan Your Route: While spontaneity adds charm to summer adventures, planning your route in advance can significantly enhance safety. Use GPS navigation systems or smartphone apps to map out your journey, considering factors such as construction zones, traffic congestion, and weather conditions. Choose well-maintained highways and roads whenever possible, and be prepared for detours or unexpected delays. Inform a trusted friend or family member of your itinerary and expected arrival time, particularly for long-distance trips.
  4. Be Mindful of Sun Glare: The summer sun can create intense glare, impairing visibility and increasing the risk of accidents. To minimize glare-related hazards, wear sunglasses with polarized lenses to reduce glare and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Keep your windshield clean both inside and out, as dirt and debris exacerbate glare. Additionally, utilize your vehicle’s sun visors and consider installing tinted window film to reduce glare while driving.
  5. Watch for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Road trippers are not the only ones who love summer. Warm weather also brings out brings out more pedestrians and cyclists. As a driver, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and watch for pedestrians crossing streets, cyclists sharing the road, and children playing near residential areas. Reduce speed in pedestrian-heavy zones, such as parks, school zones, and shopping districts. Always yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks and exercise caution when passing cyclists, leaving ample space between your vehicle and the bicycle.
  6. Prepare for Emergencies: Despite meticulous planning, emergencies can still arise while on the road. Pack a roadside emergency kit containing essentials such as jumper cables, a flashlight, first-aid supplies, non-perishable snacks, and a basic toolkit. Consider subscribing to a roadside assistance service for added peace of mind. Familiarize yourself with local emergency services and roadside assistance providers along your route, ensuring prompt assistance in case of accidents, breakdowns, or medical emergencies.
  7. Know what to do if you are in a collision: If you are involved in a collision, it is important to know what to do and what not to do. After everyone’s safety is ensured, it is important to document the collision with photographs. This includes photos of the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license. Even a photo of the other driver is helpful. Review our article: 8 Mistakes that hurt your car accident insurance claim to learn more.

Summer driving offers the promise of adventure and exploration, but it also requires heightened awareness and preparation. By prioritizing vehicle maintenance, staying hydrated, planning your route, minimizing sun glare, watching for pedestrians and cyclists, and preparing for emergencies, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for you and your passengers. Remember, the destination is important, but arriving safely is paramount. If you are in a collision, please reach out to our car accident attorneys here at Ladenburg Law. Safe travels!

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