Driving Safely In The Summer

August 30, 2012

Let’s drive safely in this summer!

Car mileage

Summer is the season for taking your car on the road. But you’ll find increased traffic on those roads, including both locals and tourists. Taking extra care to drive safely will help you get through the summer accident-free.  Here are some tips on how to do that.

 Have your vehicle checked

Summer driving conditions are often hot and stressful on equipment. So, preventive maintenance for the mechanical systems of your car or light truck is definitely a good idea.  The to-do list should include:

● Check your tire pressure before a long trip — including the spare — and keep it at the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Check tire tread depth for excessive and uneven wear.

● In extreme summer heat, it may be necessary to change the grade of the engine oil.

● Check the cooling system, both hoses and radiator, for leaks. Check the coolant recovery reservoir under the car’s hood when the engine is cold. Add the coolant recommended in the owner’s manual,

● Check the air conditioning system.

 Don’t overload

When packing up the car for a road trip, keep safety in mind. Don’t sacrifice your field of vision to squeeze in extra items. If you really do need extra space for supplies, consider using additional space on your car’s exterior or even towing a small utility trailer.  Both are safe options, provided all items are properly secured.

 Buckle Up

The best way to increase your chances of survival in a road accident is to wear your seat belt. This applies not only to the driver, but to every passenger in your car, too.  Not wearing a seat belt leaves you more exposed for severe injuries or even death in the event of an accident.  Remember that any passenger below 16 years of age who isn’t properly buckled up is your responsibility, too.

 Construction ahead

Summer is construction season, so heavier traffic flows are being squeezed onto roads that are being narrowed due to maintenance and construction. Watch out for road workers and stay alert in construction zones.  Speed limits often are reduced, and traffic can come to a halt without much notice.

 Bikers are back

Watch for cyclists and motorcyclists, too.  As a motorist you may not be expecting these smaller vehicles, and their drivers may be rusty on the roads if they’ve had their bikes parked all winter.

 Weekend warning

Unlike other seasons (when rush hour is the busiest time on the roads), summer brings traffic congestion on the weekends, as families drive to the cottage and back. These leisure drivers may actually be more of a danger: they’re revved up to reach their destination, and often are carrying more passengers and more stuff than a regular commuter. It’s best to stay calm and be polite to other drivers in order not to trigger road rage and put everyone at risk.

Carry emergency gear

Winter isn’t the only season when car trouble can happen, so  carry emergency gear all year round.  In summer, along with the usual emergency items of a blanket, flashlight, rags, a red cloth or flag and reflective warning signs, you also should bring bottled water, extra coolant and oil and, of course, a cell phone.

For information about PRUDENT VALUE CARS, visit our web site: www.prudentvaluecars.com