Are you as excited about summer as we are? Finally, we are free of the cold and snow and can drive with the windows down, go on road trips and stop being cooped up in the house every night and weekend.
However, a fun and beautiful summer isn’t all fun and games. It is still important that whenever you get behind the wheel of your car, whether you are driving to the beach or just down the road to the park, safety is always first in mind.
Just as there are special precautions drivers need to take during the winter, the beautiful summertime also comes with its own special summer driving considerations. Even if your vehicle is in tip-top shape, these unique summer driving hazards can still cause you trouble or wind up ending in an accident.
Make sure you keep an eye peeled for these potential issues this summer.
During the summer, children will be out of school and won’t have to be stuck inside their house all day. So, they’ll take to their yards and parks to go out and play! This is wonderful, of course, but children playing outside may not be the most alert, especially younger kids. A ball rolling into the street being chased by an inattentive child can be disastrous.
As a driver, you need to be alert enough for both you and the child. Always be alert for kids playing alongside the road, in streets or running into the streets, particularly if you are driving near a park or residential area. Stay alert and make sure you stick to the speed limit and pay attention to signs marking where children play.
Once the weather turns favorable, there are a precious few months where construction companies and road crews can get to work in ideal conditions. Any veteran driver will notice a dramatic spike in road work and roadside construction projects beginning in the summer. Construction can pose an issue for drivers.
Not only does construction sometimes impede travel, loose stones, nails, screws, bumps, holes, shrapnel and other debris from these projects can be a threat to the health of your tires by causing punctures. Whenever possible, avoid driving over unkempt areas of road that are experiencing construction or work to avoid these threats. Road crew workers and their vehicles are also something to keep an eye out for both on highways and city streets.
Cyclists on the road
During the summer, bicyclists, scooter riders and motorcyclists alike can, at last, take their bikes out of storage and hit the streets. For drivers, cyclists can sometimes feel like a nuisance because of their slower speeds. That, however, is no excuse to not exercise extreme caution around cyclists.
Always be respectful, patient and safe when you are driving around these riders. They may not be as easily able to signal or display their intentions, so make sure you give them plenty of room to avoid an accident. Remember, a cyclist doesn’t have the luxury of a seatbelt or airbags in the event of a crash that a regular car does.
More congested roads
Are you going on a road trip this summer? So are millions of other families. During the summer, roads are more congested than ever. But it’s not just vacations. People are simply driving more often because they can, and summer is also prime time for teens to take driving lessons and for new drivers to be hitting the road.
This influx of drivers on the road further increases the priority of safety and alertness as new drivers will still be learning the ways of the road and may be distracted by things like cell phones and radios. Practice patience and safety as you hit the road, always being mindful of the other drivers around you.
Be a safe and smart driver, and your summer can still be full of fun!