Stay Safe With Summer Driving Safety Tips

The summer season throughout Canada means people are spending more time outside. This includes playing outside and living outside. More than ever before, families are even cycling together, walking together, and using an active form of transportation as a way of getting from point A to point B. As a driver, this means it’s extremely important to ensure you’re doing your part to keep your community as safe as possible.

Summer Driving Safety Tips

One of the things that many drivers fail to realize is that the summer months are when most vehicle collisions occur. Most people think it’s January and February since that’s the height of the winter season and all the snow and ice. However, since most people tend to take their vacations in July and August, the roads seem to be busier during those two months. The busier roads mean more congestion and tougher options for drivers to make their move in traffic.

Summer driving seems to take on a different attitude for many people. No one wants to be stuck in traffic for any length of time and no one wants to have their vehicle broken down either. With that in mind, here are ten tips for safe summer driving.

Prepare to drive in warm weather:

Having an overheated vehicle can cause serious summer breakdowns. Before the heat of the summer arrives, inspect your coolant system, including the radiator and pressure cap, to ensure they’re in good shape. It would be a good idea to also check the hoses and belts for any signs of blisters, cracks, and wear. Just like you, you should keep your vehicle hydrated by checking for proper fuel levels and looking for signs of leaks, especially engine coolant. You may want to consider bringing additional engine coolant, engine oil, and fluids along with you, especially if you’re taking a trip to an isolated area.

Don’t forget sunglasses:

Although we may think that sunglasses are just accessories for looking cool, they can also help you avoid the sun’s glare, which may cause collisions as it impairs visibility. Ensure you find the best sunglasses to do the job. You should wear polarized sunglasses while driving. Polarization is what provides clarity when there is glare on the road. This glare is one of the biggest obstacles to remaining safe behind the wheel. The sun coming off another vehicle’s windshield, a piece of metal, or the wet road after rainfall can make it very difficult to see.

Check the weather:

Before going on the road trip, check ahead for what the weather may be in the direction you’re heading in. The summer months are popular times for severe storms, so checking the weather before you head out can help to provide alternatives to the route you’re taking. Driving in the rain can be dangerous if your tires are improperly inflated or if the tread is worn too low as those factors can affect your traction.

Check outside your vehicle:

Check the front and rear of your vehicle before leaving and parking space for children or bicycles. Once you’re in the vehicle and look through the windows, you can’t always see as much as you would need to in order to spot them.

Check your tires:

Check your tread depth every now and then but before heading on the summer vacation, your tire pressure should also be checked. Proper tire inflation is always important as it helps to improve your fuel economy. In the summer months, it’s important to keep your tires running cool with the proper amount of pressure to avoid a dangerous tire blowout. Check inside your driver’s door jamb to determine the proper level for your tire pressure. It would also be a good idea to visually inspect your tires for irregular wear, low tread, and other problems.

Check your windshield wipers:

The hot summer sun can be tough on windshield wipers, but you’ll still need them if you have to drive in rainy weather. It’s a good idea to switch your wipers every six months so you can have a clear view all year round.

Reduce speed helps:

The hot weather that summer brings puts more pressure on your vehicle, so forcing it to drive at higher speeds can wear it down even quicker. It is recommended to drive the speed limit to reduce the wear on your vehicle, along with practicing safe driving habits.

Keep watch on the temperature gauge:

If your vehicle has a temperature gauge and it starts to get hot and out of control, you need to get help, your engine is at risk of overheating. Pull over and stop as soon as possible to help it cool down. If you can’t pull over immediately, you may want to consider turning on your car’s heater. Yes, that may sound unusual but it will help to take some of the heat away from the engine and potentially save your engine from failure. Ensure you put all of the windows down before doing so. If your gauge is in or near the red zone, you would need to stop driving immediately because your engine has overheated. At this point, you would need to call for a tow to a garage.

More motorcycles and bicycles:

Bicycles and motorcycles are often in abundance during the summer months. It’s always a good idea to check your mirrors every five to ten seconds and to check your blind spots before making lane changes. Since they are smaller, they can be easily hidden, so give them plenty of space.

Construction season:

It’s been said that there are only two seasons; winter and road construction. This is because road construction work often increases in the summer months. Looking well ahead will help you keep a watchful eye out for construction zones. This gives you early notice when you may need to change lanes. Ensure you obey all signs, especially speed reduction signs as there are often workers on the road.

Making these summer driving tips a habit will help you enjoy the travel season for many years to come.