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How to Drive Safely This Summer

With many forms of traditional travel grounded, many Americans will be turning to road trips this summer. Although road trips can be an excellent way to explore, they can also be dangerous. In fact, summer is one of the most dangerous times for driving, even if you’re only taking a short trip in town.

Fortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) have each put together lists of valuable summer safety tips.

We’ve picked our favorites from both publications and shared them below:

Tip #1: Car Maintenance

Summer heat can be hard on your vehicle, so you’ll want to make sure it’s ready for the season. Have your car serviced before embarking on an adventure and keep the following in mind:

  • Batteries – test your car battery after 3 years and once a year going forward. This summer is a great time to start.
  • Lights – check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, hazard lights, and interior lights before you set off.
  • Tires – tire blowouts are all too common in the summer. Check your tread depth and inflation and look for cracks, bulges, or breaks in the tire. If your tire looks worse for wear or needs to be replaced, consider a new tire part of your trip expenses.
  • Fluids – ensure your car has enough coolant and that the cooling system is working properly. You should also check your oil and your transmission, power steering, and windshield wiper fluids.

These are the basics, but you’ll also want to keep systems like air conditioning in tip-top shape and be mindful you don’t lock yourself out of your car. If you take care of your car, it should take care of you.

Tip #2: Emergency Kit

Nevertheless, machines aren’t perfect. Even a well-maintained vehicle can break down, so you’ll want to be prepared for the worst. The NHTSA advises keeping your car stocked with an emergency kit, which includes:

  • A cell phone and charger
  • Drinking water and nonperishable foods
  • A first aid kit and any medications you may need
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Emergency flares or reflectors
  • Jumper cables
  • A tire pressure gauge
  • A tire jack, an adjustable wrench, and other basic tools
  • Duct tape
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid
  • Paper towels
  • Maps
  • Spare clothing, blankets, and towels

According to AAA, more than 40% of drivers don’t carry an emergency kit, even though it’s one of the easiest things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer.

Tip #3: Safe Driving

You should always buckle up, drive sober and free of distractions, follow all rules of the road, and exercise caution behind the wheel. For summer, there are some additional steps you can take to promote safety.

For example, avoid driving in flip flops or flimsy sandals and wear sunglasses to help you see through glare and cope with the bright summer sun. Note that more children are out playing, more teens are out driving, and more motorcyclists and bicyclists are on the road.

You should also be aware of the heat and never leave children or pets in the car unattended. Even with the windows rolled down, cars can quickly become too hot and cause deadly heatstroke.

If you’re on a long trip and you get drowsy, switch drivers or take time to rest.

Bonus Tip: Have a Plan If Something Goes Wrong

Just like you cannot control whether or not your car breaks down, you have no control over what other drivers choose to do. If you get into a car accident that is not your fault, Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC can help.

We are also available 24/7, so you can call us anytime you need legal advice.

Simply call us at (866) 675-4427 and tell us what happened or request a free case evaluation online.

We hope you have a safe, happy, and healthy summer and we are here to help you recover if anything goes wrong.