Summer presents plenty of traffic safety concerns that, if ignored, can turn a dreamy ride into a nightmare. Motorists should keep these summer driving safety tips top of mind before hitting the road.
Driving vacations are expected to be at an all time high this summer!
• Whether traveling 5 or 500 miles, every driver should carry important items like a mobile phone charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, drinking water, extra snacks and food, booster cables, emergency flares or reflectors, windshield wiper fluid and a basic toolkit with a tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench. Despite the importance of these items, more than 40 percent of motorists don’t carry such an emergency kit, one of the most valuable summer driving safety tips.
• Sun glare can be a serious hazard. A sweet pair of sunglasses will help you look wicked cool, and it’ll help you deal with bright summer sun. Polarized lenses reduce glare. You’ll also benefit from keeping your windshield clean. Dirt and streaks are especially pronounced under strong light.
• Flip flops are fine for the beach, but they’re not the best footwear for driving. The straps and flimsy soles can easily get caught under the pedals.
• Tying a surfboard, cooler or a week’s worth of camping supplies to your vehicle’s roof rack? Make sure you review its weight limit first and check your route for any height restrictions.
• Avoid distractions. For parents, that can be children in the backseat who are arguing with each other or using mobile devices. For any driver, it can be the temptation to use a cellphone behind the wheel. If you HAVE to send a TEXT, find a safe place to pull over.
• Turn on your headlights during twilight hours. That’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you.
• Never leave children or pets in the car unattended. Temperatures inside a vehicle can spike dangerously high in just a few minutes. Even if the outside temperature is 60 degrees, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach 110 degrees, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
• Don’t leave food or drinks inside your car on a hot day, especially canned beverages, which can explode under high temperatures. The same goes for hairspray or canned deodorant.
• When packing, distribute weight evenly in and atop your vehicle. Don’t pack items in any spot that obstructs your view, or your mirrors.
• And of course, before setting out on your adventure, be sure to have your vehicle inspected. Check when your vehicle needs an oil change and, if needed, get it done BEFORE you leave; your shop should top off all fluids and alert you to any safety concerns.