Going on a summer road trip is about as American as apple pie and baseball. Good weather and some time off from work can be a perfect combination for a long drive to a vacation hideaway.
Dry roads, excellent visibility and longer daylight hours can make summer seem like a great time to drive. But not always. Here are some ways that summer can be the most hazarous season to drive in:
Winter rain and snow expanding under a road can create more potholes, and increased traffic during the summer and hot temperatures can put more pressure on those holes in the road.
When driving fast, motorists can blow a tire or get into an accident after hitting a pothole, and shocks can take a beating on even the smallest potholes.
More road construction
Summer is a good time to fix roadways, including potholes, giving construction crews clear weather to work on construction projects on highways and other roads that have been damaged for months.
More construction zones can lead to more traffic, which can lead to more accidents for drivers. The best advice is to slow down then you see a “Road Work Ahead” sign.
Check your state Department of Transportation website for information on road construction in your area. Minnesota’s website, for example, allows users to search by region and highway or road name for road construction near them.
Hot weather and using the air conditioner more can cause car engines to overheat more in the summer.
To avoid an overheated engine, check your coolant levels, radiator, cooling fan and thermostat before you drive in hot weather.
It sounds odd, but summer is a prime time for flash floods. Dry ground can cause flash floods when it rains, leaving the ground unable to absorb the rainfall fast enough and causing flooding.
Flash floods are common in Arizona, which receives about half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season between June 15 and Sept. 30. The storms peak between mid-July and mid-August.
Summer gives teenagers more time to learn how to drive, and inexperienced drivers can lead to more accidents.
They may be more likely to make poor driving decisions, such as texting while driving, driving drunk, and speeding.
One solution is to drive defensively. If there are teenage drivers in your family, talk to them about driving distractions help them learn to be a defensive driver.
Blue skies can make summer driving seem easy, but a sunny day can also lead to glare when driving. The sun beaming right into your front windshield can make seeing what’s in front of you difficult.
Wear a pair of clean sunglasses and keep your windshield clean from bugs, pollen and anything else that could block the view.
Don’t let these summer driving hazards take away from your trip to the beach or wherever you’re going. With some advance planning and defensive driving skills, you should be able to drive safely without letting summer hazards affect you.