Everyone knows about the hazards of driving in cold weather, but there are a lot of dangers that drivers overlook during the summer. Temperature changes can affect your car and your driving ability no matter what the extreme. So, it’s vital to understand all the risks in extreme weather seasons like winter and summer. So, here are 6 summer driving hazards to look out for, whether you’re going on a trip or getting to and from work.
6 summer driving hazards to look out for this summer.
Just because you’re not staring directly at the sun doesn’t mean it can’t damage your eyes and become a summer driving problem. Although asphalt is a pretty dark material, it has the uncanny ability to reflect the sun’s rays. Those rays can bounce back into your windshield and spread out over the glass, making everything you see seem washed out. This vision wash-out can quickly tire out your eyes and even cause vision damage if you’re exposed to it for a long period of time.
So, be sure to protect your eyes with the proper sunglasses, especially if you’re on an elongated road trip or if you have a long commute. Look for sunglasses with UV A, B, and C protection, and purchase glasses with polarized lenses if you can. The UV protection can help protect your eyes from visual diseases and the polarization of the lens will cut the glare from the road and keep your eyes focused on the colors, lights, and signs that you’ll need to focus on.
2. Road blindness
Speaking of concentration, don’t fall victim to road blindness – basically where you’ve been driving for so long that everything starts to blur together. You may think that the tons of fast-moving cars around you are enough to keep you alert, but brains are tricky. Especially on long trips, your brain can start to filter and ignore the constant view of the cars and the markings on the road as white noise. Your body can then fall into a routine instead of taking in all of your surroundings while driving to avoid obstacles.
To prevent road blindness on road trips, take at least a 15-minute break every one or two hours to allow your eyes to adjust. It’ll be a great opportunity to stretch your legs and return your focus.
3. Mechanical issues
Make sure your car is prepared for summer driving. Even if your car is built to navigate through the roughest terrain, all vehicles can fall victim to a rise in temperature. Hot air can cause rubber to weaken and air to expand. So, it’s vital to not only regularly check your tire pressure, but to make sure that you have a spare tire and the proper tools and knowledge to change it if need be.
Additionally, regular maintenance is important. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a tune-up, take your car to a trusted mechanic to make sure there are no holes, cracks, or leaks in your car’s hoses, belts, and fluid tanks. Have them check your tire treads and brake pads so that you can replace anything that’s in danger of losing traction, especially in inclement weather. Regular preventative maintenance now can mean avoiding a hefty auto repair bill later.
4. Harsh weather
Even though we think of the summer season as bright, clear skies and hot weather, the occasional flash flood may pop up. In fact, both hurricane and hail seasons start during the summer. So, keep an eye on weather forecasts and keep a solid disaster plan nearby for any (literal) rainy days. Plus, disaster kits aren’t just for your home. Make sure to keep items like:
- A rain poncho
- A flashlight
- A reflective vest and triangle
- A first-aid kit
- Emergency water
in a safe and dry place that’s easily accessible in your car in case of emergency. Overall, if the weather looks too bad, postpone any trips that aren’t absolutely necessary. If you’re already on the road when a storm hits, don’t be afraid to pull over onto a shoulder or obey radio traffic safety instructions until you feel comfortable getting back on the road. Weather can become a big summer driving hazard.
5. Distracted/Drunk drivers
Summer can be the time for some people to get a little wild and carefree. School is out and many people can choose to take vacations to unknown locations that may just include Atlanta.
While you can’t do anything about their choices and driving behavior, there are certain actions you can take to keep you and your family safe.
- Know the signs of drunk and/or distracted driving. Move over and away from drivers who are swerving, suddenly braking, or jerking their vehicle to course correct.
- Try to drive in the middle or right-most traffic lanes. This will put you farther away from any reckless drivers on a two-way street that may cross yellow lines.
- Be patient. Whether they have out-of-town license plates or not, you may be dealing with a new driver or someone who just isn’t familiar with the area. Give other cars enough room to merge, stop, and navigate safely.
6. Construction, roadwork, and traffic
These three things aren’t new concepts to Atlantans, but it bears repeating that summer can be peak season for major roadwork. Again, it’s important to be patient whether you’re commuting to work or traveling in or out of the city. Take special notice of roadwork signs, especially those for closed lanes – which can back up your normal traffic route, and workers on the side of the road. If you have to drive through one of these work zones, give yourself a little extra time to get where you’re going or search for a different route around the construction.
Hopefully, these tips will help your summer stay fun and free from accidents. By staying alert, maintaining your vehicle, and getting the right auto insurance coverage, you’ll be able to travel almost anywhere safely and soundly throughout the city.
Plus, when you work with our car insurance experts, you can get great rates on the coverage you need, no matter where the roads may take you. Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent now to start saving tons on the best car insurance for you.