Essential Summer Driving Safety Tips

About to take a road trip, but don’t know a lot of essential summer driving safety tips? Check these out!

No matter where your summer destinations take you, it’s important to prioritize safety while on the open road. Summer is not only a time of soaring temperatures but also a high number of car crashes: more fatal crashes happen in summer than any other time of year. In 2020 and 2021 alone, more than 30% of all fatal crashes occurred between June and August, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

In this article, we will explore essential summer driving safety tips to ensure your adventures are not only fun-filled and sun-filled, but also accident-free. 

Vehicle Maintenance

Before embarking on a long road trip, it’s crucial to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Doing so can not only ensure your car’s best performance, but can mitigate the chance of a serious car crash.

Consider the following:

  • Check the tire pressure, including the spare tire
  • Inspect your tires’ tread for wear
  • Test the battery 
  • Examine the brakes
  • Check all fluid levels, including oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid
  • Inspect the lights, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals

Not only will following the directions above give you peace of mind, but car accident experts agree it can increase your vehicle’s miles per gallon (MPG). If you are unsure how or unable to check these elements, consider taking your car for a quick tune-up and inspection

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https://www.pexels.com/photo/gray-vehicle-on-asphalt-road-2996211/

Beat the Heat

The summer season is synonymous with heat. With scorching temperatures, keep yourself and your vehicle cool. 

Prepare to beat the heat by doing the following:

  • Ensure your air conditioning system is in good working condition
  • Keep extra water bottles in the vehicle to stay hydrated
  • Use windshield sun shades to minimize heat inside the car
  • Park in shaded areas whenever possible or use covered parking

Plan Your Route

Planning your route before you leave can prevent unnecessary stress from unexpected delays and allow for a more enjoyable trip. It can help you avoid treacherous terrain and prevent dealing with heavy traffic. 

Consider the following:

  • Familiarize yourself with the route, mapping out rest stops and planned breaks
  • Check for construction or any potential traffic delays
  • Use a navigation app or your car’s GPS for real-time traffic updates and if necessary, follow alternative routes

Ditch Distracted Driving Behaviors

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents in America. While many people believe distracted driving is purely looking at your phone while driving, distracted driving behaviors can also include: eating while driving, grooming, looking at passengers, reaching for an object, fiddling with climate or navigation controls and rubbernecking.

Stay focused on the road by following these guidelines:

  • Keep your phone out of reach or utilize a hands-free device to answer calls and texts
  • Setup your GPS or adjust music before starting you move your car
  • Designate a passenger to assist with any adjustments, including navigation, music or climate controls. 

Take Regular Rests

Long drives can be tiring. Even the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandatory rest rules that state that drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. It is essential to take regular breaks to combat fatigue.

Consider doing to prevent drowsy driving:

  • Plan rest stops every couple of hours to stretch your legs and reset your mind
  • Share the driving responsibilities, if possible
  • If you feel drowsy, pull over in a safe area and take a short nap
  • Avoid driving during the middle of the night

Observe the Weather

Summer weather is usually sunny, but can mean monsoon season and thunderstorms in other places. Because the weather is sometimes unpredictable, be prepared for whatever you encounter.

Consider the following:

  • Check weather forecasts before your drive
  • Stock your car with an umbrella, raincoat and new windshield wipers
  • Reduce speed and increase following distance if you encounter rain
  • Be cautious of slippery roads after rain

Summer Safety is in Your Hands

As you embark on your summer adventures, prioritize safety. By following these essential summer driving safety tips, you can help ensure a smoother, accident-free journey. Enjoy the thrill of the open road while keeping yourself and your fellow travelers safe. Happy travels!

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John Miller
 

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs