Summer is here! This means more heat, beach days and outdoor activities. In California, that is almost everyday! With this great California weather comes a great responsibility of driving. Summer means more traveling, increased road travel, more cyclists, more motorcycles, more young drivers (teenagers out of school, less experienced drivers), children playing outside–all these can be driving hazards. As traffic levels are returning to normal since the pandemic, it is more important than ever to practice safe driving in the busy summer months ahead.
There are various driving tips that can make your summer months more pleasant if you must spend long periods of time in the car.
AVOID DISTRACTED DRIVING
Always be aware and stay focused on driving safely. Do not be distracted with the phone, the radio, or people in the car. According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study in 2017, dialing a phone increases a driver’s chance of crashing by 12 times. If you must dial the phone while driving, there are voice features that have been installed to use hands-free dialing.Also, according to the NHTSA, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. If you were traveling a minimum of 55 mph that is just like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes shut. Make it a habit to put your phone down while driving. It can save your or someone else’s life.
Be prepared on the road. Be sure to check your vehicle before a long road trip. Check for recalls and if your car requires servicing, do not ignore the service light. Also, check your tire pressure often in the summer months to prevent tire blowouts. Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, battery checks, oil changes and tire rotations go a long way to prevent breakdowns, especially when traveling in hot weather.
GET SOME SLEEP
Do not drive drowsy. Long summer days and late nights can lead to drowsiness. It has been reported by the National Sleep Foundation that drivers who are sleep deprived are responsible for more than 6,400 deaths annually in the US. Make sure that the tiredness does not hit you behind the wheel. Be well rested for those long-haul trips.
Be aware of road and weather conditions that can change unexpectedly across state lines. Summer months have an increase in road and building construction. Watch for posted signs and a change in speed throughout your drive. Also be aware of leftover debris that may be around the road. Finally, be conscious of the workers on or around the road.
Be prepared for longer times on the road and expect delays. As the country and pretty much the entire world are adjusting to life after COVID, delays across the board are strongly expected. This means more patience and better planning for travelers.
Despite all the wonderful upsides of summer, there are some driving dangers out there that come along with the season. Preparedness can go a long way when it comes to driving and preventing collisions. Keep these hazards in mind while you are on the road and enjoy the glorious dog days of summer.
If you are injured in an accident, call the Offices of Payam Y. Poursalimi at 877-PAYAMLA for a free consultation.