10 Must-Know Summer Driving Hazards (#1 Might Shock You!)
Summer driving hazards can cost you injury and lots of money if you're not careful. If traveling out of state, check to make sure your car insurance coverage works across state borders.
UPDATED: Mar 23, 2021
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- Although winter has the most extreme driving conditions, summer has its own share of risks to watch out for
- Knowledge is key to prevention
- Keeping your car insurance policy up-to-date with the best coverage limits provides peace of mind and greater security
You may think that winter is the worst season for drivers, but summer driving is actually more dangerous than most of us realize. to watch out for. In fact, accident rates are 18 percent higher in the summer than winter according to the Department of Transportation.
Knowledge and awareness can prevent a lot, but unfortunately, accidents still happen, which is why it’s so important to have the right car insurance. Good insurance doesn’t have to be overpriced or out of reach.
Enter your zip code above and get matched with providers who have just what you’re looking for in under 5 minutes.
Top 10 Summer Driving Hazards
#10 – Storms
Thunderstorms and flash floods can cause massive damage to your vehicle, and there’s often little forewarning before they hit. One thing you don’t want to do is rely on your car as shelter. It’s a common myth that vehicles keep you safe from lightning because of the rubber in their tires.
Instead, seek shelter indoors. If your car happens to get damaged by a weather event or sustains flood damage, a comprehensive policy will help cover the costs of repairs.
#9 – Potholes
Frozen rain and ice melt away and leave more potholes in their wake. Increased summer traffic worsens the potholes, and they can pose a major threat to motorists, especially those who are traveling at high speeds. Checking your tire pressure and treads routinely can help protect you against blowouts.
#8 – Overloaded Cargo
Packing up for a summer road trip can increase your risk of an accident by obscuring windows and decreasing rear visibility from the driver’s seat. Make sure that when you pack smart
- You can see out your rearview window
- You can see from side to side
- You can see out your side mirrors
- All windows are clear (nothing hanging over)
#7 – Overheating
Scorching temperatures bring the risk of overheating. There are multiple steps you can take to reduce the risk of your car overheating, such as using the fresh air setting on your AC for 10 minutes to cycle out the hot, stale air it’s been circulating.
You should also park in the shade whenever you can, stay on top of your coolant level and keep your eye on your temperature gauge.
#6 – Distracted Pedestrians
People spend more time outside when the weather warms up, so it’s important for drivers to stay alert and be on the lookout for anyone who may be jaywalking or lingering near the road.
In cities, it’s critical for drivers to double check corners and crosswalks when they’re navigating the streets, especially at night.
#5 – Out-of-Towners
Increased summer traffic from holiday travelers means new drivers who are unfamiliar with the area. These visitors can pose a threat to local motorists for several reasons. First, their cars may be packed to the brim with luggage and vacation gear, so their windows may be obstructed, reducing their likelihood of preventing an accident.
Second, many travelers spend hours or even days behind the wheel, so they can be operating under a sleep-deprived, dehydrated state. Decreased awareness puts everyone at risk, so make sure you are always on the lookout for distracted drivers.
Third, the summer months according to our researchers consistently have the most traffic. April, May, June, July, and August all fell within the top six.
#4 – Cyclists
Did you know 70 percent of adult cyclists are killed in urban areas? Unfortunately, cyclists don’t always follow traffic rules or proper hand signals. Make sure you always heed caution when opening your door or making turns. Allow at least 3 feet of clearance to passing cyclists; if you’re following someone on a bicycle, give them space to change direction or stop.
#3 – Glare
Shiny objects in the road can catch the sun and blind drivers. You can reduce sun glare by investing in a pair of polarized driving sunglasses, remove any reflective objects from your dashboard, use your sun visor, and ensure that your windshield is clean and free of any scratches, nicks, and cracks.
#2 – Wild Animal Collisions
As more people drive on open roads in the summer, the risk of hitting a crossing wild animal increases. Observance and awareness are key to avoiding unnecessary accidents.
Control your speed even if you’re on an open road with no other cars in sight. Make sure you research the areas you’ll be driving through before you set off on your trip, and be aware of any animal crossing signs and other wildlife warnings.
Make sure that you also turn on your high beams and drive with added caution between 5 and 8 AM and 5 PM to midnight.
#1 – Construction
More construction during summer months means roads are rerouted and drivers are at risk. Construction work zones can throw off even experienced drivers. Due to an influx of traffic caused by closed roads and new routes, the risk of a collision is higher.
If possible, avoid work zones altogether and rearrange your commute to work until construction ceases. Driver slower, follow signs, and avoid distractions behind the wheel such as loud music, texting, and rowdy passengers.
7 Summer Driving Safety Tips
The video above provides some great tips you can follow on your next car trip this summer. In addition to watching out for the hazards we discussed, reading up on some seasonal driving safety tips is a great way to keep yourself (and others!) safe this summer.
Here are a few key takeaways to remember:
- Don’t overpack or obscure your car’s windows.
- Ensure all roof cargo is properly secured and reinforced to handle high-speed travel.
- Map out your destination ahead of time and plug in the credentials into your phone (mounted n your dash) or vehicle’s GPS before you leave.
- Take your car to the shop and have it checked out before you go on any trips. Make any necessary repairs.
- Keep a summer car emergency kit. Here’s how to make a good one.
- If you’re going on a long trip, make sure you stop to rest. Don’t drive sleep-deprived and stay hydrated.
- Check your car insurance policy and make sure that your coverage works across state borders.
Car insurance isn’t just reactive but preventative. The right coverage can spare you the stress and financial struggle of covering costly repairs in the event of an accident or unexpected damages. You should check your coverage at least once a year and ensure you’re getting the most coverage for your money.
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