It makes sense that more people spend time driving in the summer than at any other time of year: not only do road trips, vacations, and general recreational driving increase when the weather heats up, but so too does the number of teenage drivers on the road. And although we encounter this increase in drivers and vehicles every year, the negatives associated with crowded roadways mustn’t be ignored. Due to the influx in drivers, increase in heat, and proliferation of holidays and parties that typically take place during the summertime, it’s critical that drivers have their wits about them when they take to the streets.
That’s exactly why keeping your eye on following may prevent you and your family from harm’s way as you hit the road this summer.
What to Expect When You Hit the Road:
Although the morning commute may be a bit lighter with school being out, typically more people take to the roads for longer drives during the summer. More drivers mean more traffic jams, and more traffic jams mean more opportunity for fender benders and accidents. Remember also that vacationing drivers are often unfamiliar with the roads and may drive slowly while trying to find their turn, make sudden stops, quickly switch lanes, or even make a U-turn at a moment’s notice. Do your best to remain both aware and patient and avoid actions that could harm (or even annoy!) other drivers.
Teenagers aren’t just more available to be on the roads during the out-of-school season, but studies show that teen drivers are also more likely to get into accidents in the summer than at any other time of the year. Furthermore, they’re additionally the most likely age group to use their phones while driving. Parents can help improve teens’ driving behavior by modeling attentive driving, setting curfews that prevent them from driving too late, and signing their teenager up for a safe driving course.
There are nearly 700 fatalities every year in construction zones. With more construction zones popping up on travel routes during the busy summer season, it’s even more important to slow down, heed warning signs, and stay alert. (By the way – If you don’t slow down, you may end up with a fine that could ultimately increase your insurance premium!)
Distracted driving occurs nearly 10% more in the summer than in any other season. Try and limit your own distractions while on the road to ensure you’re staying safe. First and foremost, stow your phone to ensure your attention stays on the road and isn’t distracted by a text or notification. Otherwise, try and get an understanding of your route before you hit the road, avoid eating and drinking while driving, and keep pets and children safe and secure in the back seat to avoid distraction. Furthermore, avoid making calls to family or friends when you know they’re driving. Even if you aren’t in the car, you can make an impact in keeping the roads safe!
Hot weather can cause vehicles to overheat and break down. Inspect your coolant system, radiator and pressure cap to make sure they’re in good condition before setting out on a long road trip. What’s more, consider bringing extra coolant, oil and liquids with you when you’re driving a long distance, and especially so if you’re driving to a remote location.
Unfortunately, drunk driving is a problem year round, but especially during the summer holidays, people tend to misread their limits when it comes to consuming alcohol. Of course, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving is to simply never drink and drive, but if you do plan on drinking, be sure to designate a sober driver to get you and your vehicle back home, or plan to use an alternate method of transportation to get you there.
Keeping these things in mind can help you and others stay safe on the road during the summer months. For answers to additional questions about safe summer driving, or to review your auto insurance policy and make sure it’s up to date, contact us today.