It’s easy to understand how winter driving requires extra care with snow, ice, and heavy rains. But did you know more people are killed in crashes that take place in the summer? In fact, NHTSA reports that there were 9,025 fatal crashes in July and August of 2019.
With that in mind, we wanted to share 7 simple tips for summer driving.
Tip #1: Stay up on routine maintenance. It’s always better to prevent problems before they happen in the first place. Follow your oil change schedule, check your lights, and replace damaged wiper blades. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for other periodic maintenance you may need to schedule.
Tip #2: Make sure you’ve got an emergency kit. Make sure you have a first aid kit, water, a blanket, flares or road triangles, and jumper cables. (Make sure to see other essentials to keep in your car at all times.)
Tip #3: Check your tires. Many preventable crashes happen every year due to issues with tires. Make sure yours are properly inflated. You should have your tires rotated every few months, too. And if your tires’ treads are wearing out, consider if it’s time to replace them.
Tip #4: Keep your car clean. Items that are OK at room temperature might not be OK in a very hot car. Bring items like aerosol cans and batteries inside so they don’t become hazards. It’s also a good opportunity to take out items that could just get messy like snacks, makeup, and kids’ crayons.
Tip #5: Know the dangers of having your kids or pets in a hot car. We all hear these news stories every year. A parent has seemingly forgotten a child in the backseat of a car, with tragic consequences. Anytime there is a change in your family’s routine, pay attention. If you have young children, always double check the backseat of your car when parking. Also, when it gets hot – leave Fido at home. Bottom line: the inside of a parked car can become dangerously hot in very short order. Protect your kids and pets.
Tip #6: Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car. We’ve all had the uncomfortable situation of driving home into the sunset and struggling to see the road clearly. Designate a pair of sunglasses to stay in your car at all times for this exact scenario.
Tip #7: Inspect your car before a road trip. Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is up to date with all routine maintenance. Make sure you’ve got extra supplies on hand, particularly if you’ll be driving into some isolated areas.
We hope these simple tips will help you and your family have a safe summer on the road this year!