The summer months bring warmer weather and holidays, encouraging more people to take summer trips. However, summer vacation also brings crowded roadways and increased driving risks. Drivers should take extra caution and care of their vehicles while travelling this summer.
Warm weather creates extra risk for underinflated tires. Vehicles loaded with luggage and passengers can put extra stress on tires as well. Drivers should regularly check tire pressure and should consult their owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure for their make and model. They should also be aware of load limits and not overload their vehicles when preparing for long trips. Properly inflated tires are especially important in vehicles like SUVs which are prone to rollover.
Consumers should remember to never leave children alone in or near vehicles. Temperatures can quickly escalate inside a car during the summer months. Drivers should also take precautions when moving vehicles when children are near and should always be aware of their location. Children 12 and under should be kept in appropriate child restraints when riding in a vehicle, including child seats and booster seats for older children. Individuals of all ages should wear a seat belt day and night when riding in or driving a motor vehicle.
Preparation is important before travelling. Drivers should always get plenty of rest the day before travel when planning a road trip to reduce driver fatigue. They should also leave plenty of time to get to their destination in order to reduce stress. Drivers should ensure windshield wipers and lights are working on their vehicle and check their oil and fluid levels before leaving.
Distracted driving is also a serious hazard on the roadways. However, it becomes even more dangerous when the highways and roads become crowded with summer travellers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,000 individuals died in 2008 alone because of accidents caused by distracted drivers. Distracted driving includes talking and texting on a cellphone, drinking, eating, and use of other in-vehicle technologies.