Before you head off for summer vacation, read over our summer driving safety tips, and keep you and your family safe on the road. Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in New Jersey and across the United States. Summer is the most dangerous driving season—not winter, as one might expect, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Approximately 18% more car, bus and truck accidents occur during the summer months than in winter.
Several circumstances contribute to the high number of summer collisions; from an increase in road construction to a higher amount of traffic on the roads. No matter where your journeys take you this season, make your memories safe by following our summer driving safety tips.
Limit Glare and Heat
The glare off of other vehicles can severely affect your view. Always wear sunglasses to maximize your summer driving clarity. For long road trips, keep lots of water on hand and take regular breaks. The sun can dehydrate you fast, even if you do not realize it. Never leave children or pets alone in hot cars, and use a sunshield to keep your car’s interior from overheating too quickly.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Whether under or over-inflated, tires can cause blowouts and accidents on the road. The correct tire pressure improves your car’s handling and your tire’s life. Your owner’s manual will have the recommended summer tire pressure. Before going for any long summer drives, always verify that your tires pressure is within the proper limits.
Storms are Serious
Summer storms can create very slippery roads when rainfall combines with the oil on the roadways. If caught in a summer storm, gradually slow down and turn on your headlights, and make sure to be considerate of other drivers on the road. If rainfall is so dense that your visibility becomes too obscured, pull over to the side of the road and leave your hazards on until the storm passes. When traveling through regions known for hurricanes or tornadoes, keep a radio on for updates or have a passenger check on their phones.
Make Sure Your Children Are Secure and Safe
Whether you are taking a road trip or just going to a nearby grocery store, if you have children in the vehicle you need to make sure that they are safe and secure at all times. Driving during the summer months means there are even more cars on the roads than usual, making it even that much more important that your child passengers are buckled into their seats. The safest place for a child passenger, of any age, is properly buckled in the back seat of the car.
Be Mindful of Others
In the summer, people go outside. They walk. They run. They bike. Summer means you are sharing the road with bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. Never share lanes with motorcyclists, and increase your stopping distance to at least two car lengths. Obey all traffic signals, including signs to lower speed limits. Pedestrians might not be paying much attention as they enjoy the summer weather, but as a driver, your job is to pay attention.
Maintain your Vehicle
The last summer driving safety tip will keep you from your vehicle to having a breakdown on your long road trip! Before taking a long trip in your car, get it inspected by a qualified mechanic. If you can not take your car into a mechanic, make sure to at least – change the oil, top off your washer fluid, make sure tires have adequate tread and be sure the tires have the proper tire pressure.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious motor vehicle accident, please contact Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, and we will contact you within twenty-four (24) hours to discuss your car accident case.