Having read the title of this article you probably want to raise your hand and ask: „Hey! What’s that about? What unsafe can there be in driving in summer – the season when the road condition and the visibility are very good?” Well, this question is already also the answer. The point is that most of people take it for granted that driving in summer is safe. Probably very few people are aware of the fact that there are more car accidents in summer as compared to winter.
How is it at all possible? This is due to a number of factors which will be described in details in the remaining part of this text. Note that even if you are living in a place where there is little to no winter (like Texas) or little to no summer (like Anchorage) you might still find the topics mentioned in this article useful.
How to make safer summer holiday trip
So, where does the problem lie? One of the major issues related to summer on road (not only in the context o safety) is increased traffic. This is closely related to holiday season. Many Americans go on holidays by car, don’t we?
The other thing is that going on holidays or even on a short weekend trip usually means long driving of at least a couple of hours. This is very different from our usual usage of the car to simply go shopping or to get to the office. Since most of us aren’t used to this kind of driving, we often do commit errors which can result in quite bad consequences. Those errors are often related to fatigue. This is generally recommended to take frequent breaks. What does it mean? Experts say that a short break every second hour is a minimum. This is also a good idea to have another driver with us in the car and share driving duties.
As always, it is also highly recommended to inform someone from our friends or relatives about our plans when we plan driving long way. This can really help in emergency situations.
On top of that, when winter comes we hear everywhere around us: “The winter has come. It is dangerous. Be careful. Slow down. Etc.” So we are careful. We do slow down. And we do follow all those other guidelines aimed at increasing safety on the road in winter. And the winter finally goes, summer comes (I’ve skipped spring to make it simpler, especially that it usually takes just a couple of weeks at maximum in the place where I live) and then… We sigh from relief. We say: “At last”. And we feel like master and commander of the road. Should we? I don’t think so. At least as long as the safety is concerned. Therefore please resist any temptation of breaking the speed record you might have. The old proverb says that the slower you go to further you will be. Wise and true.
Prepare car for driving safe in summer
We should also remember about preparing our car to summer when the winter is over. This includes checking the technical state of the car, especially when it comes to the light, brakes, and the wipers. We should also exchange the wheels and the windshield washer fluid. What is worth underlining here is that although many people believe that the winter windshield fluid can be equally well used during summer, this is not fully so, because the winter fluid contains alcohol which quickly evaporates in higher temperatures which in turn deteriorates the quality of the fluid. Finally, the level of the coolant should also be examined.
The next thing worth keeping in mind is that summer means the need for special tire care. This is because of the additional stress related to higher speeds and higher temperatures as well as longer trips. Although most of us remember about ensuring that tires are properly inflated, there are also other guidelines to follow that are often skipped or ignored. This includes but is not limited to checking the tires for visible signs of wear or damage, checking the tread on tire and not overloading the vehicle. Please remember that tire failure can result in a very serious injury. Ensure also that you don’t confuse the recommended inflation pressure which you can find for instance in the manual with the maximum inflation pressure.
Accident risk increase by insufficient attention
The last thing to underline here is that many accidents are caused by insufficient attention. This is therefore critical to avoid distractions. In order to increase your chances of reaching the destination safety and without issues don’t use your cell phone while driving, don’t eat nor drink while driving, don’t clean the windows while driving, don’t play with your radio too much while driving and most importantly: do focus on driving while driving.
Moreover, summer is a good season for fresh-drivers, seldom-drivers, and even those without permission to drive. They all risk increase. Not only for themselves but also for the other users of the road. Summer also means motorcycles and bikes on the road and as much as I like them, they rather don’t contribute to the overall safety.
Having said all the above, driving in summer can be a real pleasure. All we need to do is to ensure that this pleasure is safe.