Summer Driving Hazards: How to Stay Safe in High Temperatures

summer driving

The weather is warmer; the pool is crowded—summer vacation is here. As you and millions of others hit the roads this summer, it’s crucial to have the proper safety precautions in place. When dealing with the heat, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Let’s review some driving safety tips you as a driver need to be prepared for this season to avoid hazards, ensuring a fun-filled summer on the open road. 

Inspect Your Vehicle

Any weather changes can also make your vehicle vulnerable to condition changes. As temperatures rise, it’s important to know which parts of the vehicle need inspection or are at risk.

A good starting point is checking your tire pressure. Driving with a flat tire is no fun and can lead to dangerous situations. It’s always a good idea to check your tire pressure at least once a month or before heading out on road trips. 

Just like people, cars can overheat, too. Cars overheating is a result of engine problems. It’s not a bad idea to inspect your engine as summer kicks off or take it to a professional to do so for you. Overheating can be caused by a malfunction with the air conditioning, so as nice as it feels to crank the AC in a hot car, it’s imperative to ensure it’s working properly first and to know the signs to look out for if it’s not. If you see any smoke or abnormal smells, pull over and turn off your vehicle immediately.

car heat gauge

Throughout your inspection process, it’s also smart to check the basics. Make sure you have enough gas to reach your destination, your brakes are working properly, and all of your lights are functioning in order to safely drive in the summer months. 

Know Your Car’s Inventory

Stocking your car with summer safety essentials will help you stay prepared for any bumps in the road or unexpected scenarios. In addition to a complete emergency car kit, a few necessities for safe driving in the summer include: 

Packing your car with the right supplies is important, but it’s just as key to unpack when you’ve reached your destination and are leaving your car to soak in the hot sun. Don’t leave any valuables in your car. Remember to remove electronics or products that become unsafe when hot (like hand sanitizer). Taking these precautions after a long drive can save you a mess to clean up or worse. Lastly, beware of hot wires in or around your vehicle. 

Be Aware of Roads Appearing Warped

If you’re driving in high temperatures and see the road appearing wavy ahead—you’re not seeing things. This phenomenon is referred to as highway mirage. Heat can warp air, causing the view ahead to look a little wonky. Watch out for this optical illusion as you drive on hot days, especially on the highway or interstate. But don’t fret; the road is not actually bending. You should notice it disappear as you come closer to the “warped” area of the road.

Learn How to Drive Safer With Driver Ed Safety

Follow this guide to enjoy summer and minimize car troubles or setbacks in your sunny plans. Be prepared for hazards in every season by learning effective defensive driving and behavioral patterns. For more driving safety, contact CIESC Driver Safety and sign up for our open enrollment Online Course, or register for Behind the Wheels lessons today.

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