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10 Driving Safety Tips for Summer

For some strange reason, people always talk about winter weather as being more dangerous for driving than any of the other seasons. Don’t ask me why. It’s almost like people fixate on ice and snow and can’t get past it.


Let me tell you, the other seasons have just as many hazards to look out or.


Have you ever hydroplaned? It’s scarier than ice because there is absolutely nothing you can do to regain control on the fly. Your car is completely out of control. At least fishtailing on ice, you can downshift and pull through.


Ever driven through a torrential rainstorm? It’s as bad as whiteout conditions.


Here are ten driving safety tips we feel you should keep in mind as you prepare to travel this summer.



Check Fluids


I know it’s always a good idea to be on top of your fluid levels, but you’re a lot less likely to overheat in the winter.


For a lot of us, overheating just seems like an inconvenience, but you can really damage your entire engine if you aren’t careful.


Also keep in mind, in addition to coolant, you should check your oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Each of these plays an important part in keeping you safe on the road.



Tire Check


The heat of the summer roads can be tougher on tires than any other season.


I’m sure most of us didn’t even realize it, but the temperature of asphalt can be more than 40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. That means on a hot summer day, you could be looking at an excess of 130 degrees.


And your poor tires have to stay on that.


While the heat won’t melt your tires, it can bring underlying issues to a head. Weakened walls, tread wear, or even small punctures can cause a flat in the heat.



Are Your Wipers Working?


As I said earlier, summer can bring on crazy rain storms. There’s nothing worse than getting caught in a downpour and then realizing you shed the blade to your wipers sometime earlier in the spring.


Not only are damaged wipers an inconvenience, but they are also very hazardous to you and your fellow travelers.


If you don’t believe me, go sit in your car during a rainstorm and try to see what’s going on outside your windshield.



Be Prepared for High Sun Conditions


People seem to forget how blinding the sun can be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 9,000 accidents each year related to sun glare.


It may seem like common sense while you read this, but keep in mind that early morning and late afternoon are the worst times of the day to be driving into the sun. The glare can literally reduce your vision to nothing.


No taillight on the market can outshine the sun.


Always carry a pair of sunglasses and don’t be afraid to use your sun visor.



Vacation Traffic


Whether you have thought of it or not, we live near a vacation destination.


Rochester may not be on everyone’s top ten list of places to visit, but we live a stone’s throw from Lake Ontario. Tens of thousands of people visit the lake in our neck of the woods.



Be aware of altered traffic patterns and an increase in holiday traffic.


If you are planning a vacation of your own, be aware that you probably aren’t the only one. Whether you’re traveling to Myrtle Beach or Niagara Falls, you’ll run into similar-minded folks. Leave yourself extra time and drive cautiously.


You are better off driving a little slower and getting to your destination safely.



Be Alert to Inattentive Drivers


I don’t know how many times I see someone driving with their heads in their lap as they try to juggle phones and cars. I know this isn’t strictly a summer problem, but I think it warrants caution in all seasons.


If you notice someone driving erratically, give them a wide berth.


You are better off keeping your distance and trailing behind than attempting to zip past them.



Crazy Kids


The summer weather brings kids outdoors.


This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, if we can get kids off their screens and out to enjoy nature a bit more, I don’t think anyone would really complain.


I know my kids sometimes need a kick in the pants to remember that sunshine is good for them. But with added children in the great outdoors, we drivers need to be more aware of them. When driving around residential areas, be aware that there is a good chance you’ll sight some children playing.



Avoid Holiday Drinking


This goes without saying, never drink and drive. It’s a surefire way to lose your license or worse. On the flip side, be more cautious around holidays as you’re likely to encounter partiers on their way home.



Check the Weather


Up here in the North Country, the weather can sneak up on you. Over 20% of accidents involve inclement weather.


If you are caught in hazardous weather, make sure to slow down and use your hazard lights. Remember, it’s the law to have your headlights on if your windshield wipers are in use.



Motorcycles


Just like being aware of children, motorcycles can sneak up on you.


Most experienced riders try to remain highly visible while they are on their bikes, but not everyone has the experience to avoid blind spots.


Motorcycles are generally ridden when the weather is good. So double-check your mirrors when changing lanes, and look out for motorcycles.




The Wrap


Summer is a great time to get out of the house and go places. Just make sure you are doing your best to be a safe driver when you go.


Check the weather, look for potential traffic, and keep your eyes open for kids, motorcycles, and pets.


From our Jessica Guay Allstate family, enjoy the rest of your summer!


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