Driving Safety Tips for the Summer
Picture this - you're cruising down the highway with your family, excited for a weekend at the beach. The sun is shining, and everyone's spirits are high. You’re singing along to your Spotify playlist or playing a road trip game. Then, in an instance, everything changes.
Summer is here, and with it comes the promise of sunny days, road trips, and memorable vacations. However, as the temperatures rise, so do the risks associated with summer driving. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, drivers are involved in more accidents in July and August than in other months of the year.
In this blog post, we will discuss practical and useful tips that can help you stay safe on the road during the hottest months of the year. By understanding the unique challenges that summer driving presents, you can take steps to minimize risks and ensure that your journey is both enjoyable and secure.
1. Check Your Tires Before Hitting the Road
Before driving this summer, you should conduct a vehicle safety inspection and make sure your tires are in good condition. This step is especially important before embarking on a long summer road trip.
Flat tires are one of the leading causes of accidents, so it's crucial to make sure your tires have enough air and tread before heading out. Tire blowouts can also contribute to an accident.
2. Drive the Speed Limit...or Slower
Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents, especially during the summer months when people are in a hurry to get to their destination. So, even if you're in a rush, resist the urge to speed and instead drive the posted speed limit or slower. Not only will this help keep you safe, but it will also help you avoid getting pulled over and receiving a costly ticket.
3. Put Down Your Phone & Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is another leading cause of accidents. If you must use your phone for directions or to make a call, pull over to a safe location first. And if you're stopped at a red light, resist the urge to scroll through social media or check your email—it can wait until you reach your destination.
You should not only avoid using your phone while driving but should also eliminate other types of distractions. Distracted driving can involve a variety of activities, including:
- Grooming (i.e. applying makeup, styling your hair, changing clothes, etc.)
- Messing with the stereo or car controls
- Talking to passengers
- Any action that divides your attention from driving
4. Don't Drive Impaired
You should never get behind the wheel if you've been drinking alcohol or taking drugs—prescription or otherwise. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver ahead of time or take public transportation instead. You should also be mindful of the potential side effects of prescribed medications as you may be unable to drive or “operate heavy machinery” while taking certain medications.
5. Be Prepared for Bad Weather
Summer storms can pop up out of nowhere, so it's important to be prepared when driving in inclement weather. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and that you have plenty of washer fluid on hand so you can clear away any debris that gets blown onto your windshield. And if possible, avoid driving in heavy rain or high winds altogether—wait until the storm passes before hitting the road again.
6. Buckle Up
Seatbelts are there for a reason—to keep you safe in the event of an accident. Whether or not you wear a seatbelt won’t cause an accident, a seatbelt can save your life should an accident occur. Failing to wear a seatbelt can lead to much more severe injuries or even death should you be involved in an accident this summer.
So make sure you and everyone in your vehicle is buckled up before you start driving. It could save your life or the life of someone else.
7. Beware of Teen Drivers & Tourists
During the summer months, more tourists and teen drivers will be on the road. Teen drivers present a unique challenge to road safety. They often lack the experience and maturity needed to drive safely, which can lead to serious, even fatal, accidents. Teen drivers are more likely to speed and tailgate other vehicles, leading to an increased risk of collision.
Additionally, distracted driving is on the rise among teens as smartphones become more ubiquitous in their lives. Teens may take greater risks than experienced drivers due to their lack of understanding about car maintenance or how various environmental conditions can affect a vehicle's performance.
Tourist drivers pose a unique problem for locals and visitors alike. They often do not understand the local traffic laws or may be unfamiliar with the roadways and signage. This lack of knowledge can lead to dangerous situations where a tourist driver speeds, fails to yield to other vehicles or pedestrians or makes dangerous lane changes. Tourists may also be easily distracted while they take in the sights, which can lead to a decrease in focus and an increase in the risk of collisions.
While driving this summer, engage in defensive driving techniques and pay attention to license plates and bumper stickers. If you notice someone has a teen driver sticker or out-of-state plates, consider giving the car some distance and being mindful of how they are driving.
Involved in a Summer Driving Accident? Contact Our Firm.
No one wants to get into an accident, but unfortunately, they happen every day. And if despite your best efforts you do find yourself injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced personal injury attorney. Backed by over 25 years of legal experience, the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli offer clients personalized legal counsel and attention.