Summer's fun also comes with a heightened need for vehicle safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a higher number of car crashes and auto-related injuries and fatalities occur during July and August.
In warmer temperatures, many weather-related changes and cultural patterns make driving more dangerous than at other times of the year. Staying safe this summer can be easier than ever when remembering these driving tips next time you are on the road:
High temperatures can cause the air in your tires to expand, even with new tires. Knowing your tire pressure can help decrease the likelihood of experiencing a tire blowout and potentially causing an accident. Other ways to avoid and prepare include:
- Drive around potholes or holes in the road
- Do not over inflate tires
- Replace tires frequently
- Have a spare tire in your car that has the proper tire pressure
Construction season heightens in the spring and summer months. This can increase the number of traffic jams, roadblocks, delays, and detours you might encounter while on the roads. To ensure safety when driving near or through a construction site, be sure to:
- Slow down to 10-15 miles per hour below the speed limit
- Anticipate delays in your schedule
- Avoid known popular construction areas by finding a new route
- Merge earlier than usual before entering the work zone
You will likely have to share the road with motorcyclists more frequently in warmer weather. Even though they may move faster, it's important to keep an eye out because they may quickly enter your blind spot. Due to not being in an enclosed vehicle, motorcycle riders are more exposed and vulnerable to severe injuries in an accident. Ways vehicle drivers can avoid motorcycle collisions include:
- Dimming headlights when motorcyclists are coming in the other direction
- Using extra caution when making turns
- Checking your blindspot multiple times
- Using a greater following distance when driving behind a motorcyclist
Teens Behind the Wheel
Teenage drivers are on the roads much more in the summer, and curfews are generally more relaxed because school is out. Due to being less experienced drivers and more reckless than adults, teens tend to create more hazardous environments on the road. Teens are also likely to be distracted by their phones, affecting their reaction times and decision-making abilities. Ways to avoid teenage driver collisions include:
- Regulate how many passengers your teen can have in the car at one time
- Inform your teen of distracted driving statistics
- Set driving curfews (keep in mind your city or state may already have these regulations)
- Hold your teen responsible for consequences (ex. ticket fines or insurance increases)
Certain inclement weather can affect your vehicle's driving ability, making the roads dangerous. Many people are not aware that summer is hail season. Driving while it's hailing can be hazardous because even small pieces that hit the windshield can cause damage and make it hard to see the road in front of you.
Rain is also something to be aware of in the summer. The wet pavement or puddles in the road can impact tire traction and cause hydroplaning and fishtailing. Ways to prepare for bad weather and avoid weather-related accidents may include:
- Replace windshield wipers frequently.
- Pull over if it starts to hail.
- Drive with extra caution the first few minutes after it starts raining. This is when the pavement is the most slippery.
- If you start to hydroplane, turn into the spin until you regain access to the wheel.
Remember that even though summer is time for fun and outdoor adventures, driving safety is still important.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be owed financial compensation. Contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today at (215) 486-0123 to schedule your free case review with one of our trusted attorneys.