Too Hot to Handle? 3 Summer Driving Hazards You Can Beat
The days are getting longer, the sun is rising earlier, the temperature is getting warmer. It’s about time. Finally, you can start planning those summer driving excursions you’ve been longing for. But you need to be aware of one thing before leaving the lot – the summer can be just as risky as the winter when it comes to road hazards. That’s why it pays to know what these dangers are, so that you don’t run into them in the first place.
Most people see the wisdom in not driving like a maniac in the winter. Even with winter tires on, sensible drivers will avoid speeding on icy roads, and avoid taking risks in low visibility. But for some reason, summer weather seems to bring out our inner daredevil. Many drivers assume the bright sunshine, clear skies and dry roads mean they can get away with more unsafe behaviour. That’s why speeding and serious offenses like stunts happen more in the warmer months.
The problem here, is that such behaviour makes driving more dangerous for everyone else on the road. A reckless or impaired driver may cause an accident and manage to walk away unharmed, while the driver they collide into could suffer a life-changing injury or lose their life altogether. Or a person who makes an unsafe move may force another driver to take an evasive maneuver that causes them to lose control of their vehicle. There are also those who ignore the fact that there are more pedestrians on the road, and more kids playing on the streets.
Surviving Risky Behaviour
- Watch out for dangerous drivers
- Avoid certain roads and certain times such as rush hour
- Refrain from road rage
- Stop an impaired person from getting behind the wheel
- Keep your vehicle well maintained…this comes in handy if evasive maneuvers are needed
In the winter, there aren’t too many people out on the roads. But in the summer, construction crews are hard at work, repairing the damages winter inflicts on our streets. We often take for granted the dangers of driving around construction zones. Despite all of the signs and reduced speed limits, they’re still risky to drive through even if you’re not aware of it. Several reports have brought out statistics which prove construction sites as more dangerous than other patches of highways, freeways or urban city streets.
For one, there are risks in terms of road obstacles, parked construction vehicles and machines suspended in the air (which may fall, although unlikely). But the real danger comes from other drivers who misunderstand the rules of the road or take deliberate risks. You’ve probably seen those drivers who speed in zones where there’s a clear reduction in speed limits, along with those who show no courtesy in restricted lanes. Yes, construction zones can be very dangerous even if you are careful.
Surviving Construction Zones
- Observe posted speed limits
- Obey work zone flaggers and sign postage
- Avoid changing lanes in construction zones
- Keep up with flow of traffic
- Pay more than usual attention
The summer heat is a double-edged sword – it can make us comfortable and miserable. We all love to sit by the beach and bask in the sun, but no one likes to roast in the car on their way to the waters. Not only is that unbearable, it’s also dangerous. Fortunately, all cars come with air conditioners, but there are people driving around with non-functional units, exposing themselves, their kids and pets to extreme heat. You’ve probably heard horrific stories of young children and animals trapped in blazingly hot vehicles in parking lots. But even on the move, it’s not unusual for drivers and passengers to suffer from dehydration.
The other danger of too much heat is what it can do to your car. The biggest issue is your engine. Too much exposure to heat in the summertime may lead to your engine overheating. The resulting damage is costly, not to mention inconvenient when it happens. The summer heat can also cause problems with your tires. Warmer weather causes the air inside your tires to expand, increasing the risk of them blowing out on you.
Surviving Hot Weather
- Make sure your car is topped off with coolant/antifreeze
- Have your mechanic check for blockages, bursts or leaks
- Check your temperature gauge closely while driving
- Check your tires thoroughly to see if they are expanding
- Stay hydrated and NEVER leave kids or pets in a hot car!
Additional Reminders for Summer Driving
The three main elements mentioned above – risky behaviours, construction zones and hot weather – are just some of the hazards that can make summer driving dangerous. You’ll want to be on the lookout for those as well. The last thing you want is to hurt yourself or someone else this summer.
Other Summer Dangers
- More cyclists and pedestrians
- Severe weather (Thunderstorms, heavy rainfall)
- Potholes, fissures and cracks
- Inexperienced or teen drivers are more likely to drive at this time
- Collisions with wild animals (especially in rural or forested areas)
Don’t Let the Warmth Fool You
It’s easy to get carried away with the carefree nature of summer. But it’s important for you to put safety first, no matter how excited you may feel. Just like the winter, the summer has its own unique hazards that can make your drive a risky one. That’s why it’s in your best interest to be prepared. Take a good look at the elements mentioned above, and prepare yourself far in advance. Maybe there’s no need to fix anything on your vehicle, but you may have to start thinking about some of your driving habits. Whatever it may be, put forth the effort to make your summer driving free of accidents and breakdowns.