Summer time driving holds a lot of fun and excitement, but it can also have hidden dangers. As a safety-conscience driver, by taking a few simple safety measures and by keeping your vehicle in top running condition, you can save yourself some serious safety and financial pitfalls. A few dangers to keep in mind are the interior temperature of the vehicle, the temperature of the engine, the tires, slippery spots on the roads, and vehicles that are not safely packed.
During the summer, the temperature inside a car can rise dangerously high in just a few minutes. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hyperthermia, or heatstroke, is a serious issue. Hyperthermia has caused numerous deaths, in children under the age of 14, every year. Never leave infants or children alone in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked, for any amount of time, no matter how brief. After a check to be sure all children are out, make sure to lock your car and keep keys out of reach of children to prevent them from playing in an unattended car and getting trapped. Some of the warning signs of hyperthermia may include being red, being hot and moist, or dry skin with no sweating, having a strong rapid pulse or a slow, weak pulse, having nausea or acting strangely. Be sure to cool the child rapidly. Also remember to use caution when getting into a vehicle with dark interiors. Leather can become so hot that simply touching it can cause burns.
The heat of the summer sun can affect your vehicle’s engine and tires. To avoid your vehicle from overheating you will want to check the cooling system, the engine hoses, drive belts, and the battery. Checking these things becomes even more of a priority if you are planning to tow a boat or another full load for a long trip. Heat causes the air pressure inside the tires to expand, and this can lead to a blowout if the tires were already in a bad condition. By having properly inflated and maintained tires not only keeps everyone safe on the roads but also helps with fuel efficiency.
As the sun is beating down on the black roads, the heat gets absorbed and can become extremely hot. When this occurs, it can cause oils from the numerous vehicles driving on the road every day, to be absorbed into the road itself. So when a summer rainstorm hits, these mini-oil slicks are created on the road, giving added dangers to summer driving.
Other than the perils affected by the heat of summer, a poorly-packed vehicle can cause risk. It is recommended that loads are secured properly to prevent shifting and treacherous flying debris while driving. To make sure that the cargo that is packed is safer, be sure to verify the vehicle’s carrying or towing capacity and do not overload it, and confirm that any top cargo carriers are properly installed, secured closed, and do not go over the recommended weight limit.
As a safety-conscience driver this summer knowing some of the hidden dangers that this season brings and actively taking steps to avoid these hazards will make the roads a little safer for everybody.