Summer is by far the busiest period of the year on the roads and more accidents occur during the summer than in any other time of year. Let’s all try to be safer this season and follow this guideline of five ways to avoid collisions this summer.
This time of year is when students are out of school, families leave on vacation and young people go on road trips; there are holidays, parties, weddings and weekend getaways. Almost 30% more car accidents happen in June, July and August and, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there is a spike in fatal car collisions involving teenagers. In Pennsylvania, June is often the month with the highest number of deadly collisions.
Summer heat means cars are more likely to have mechanical problems, overheated engines and tire blowouts. You are also more likely to encounter road construction and maintenance work during this season.
1. Get a Tune Up
During the summer cars are subjected to additional stress because of the heat. You can decrease the risk of a breakdown or a collision by getting your vehicle tuned up now.
Summer sun ruins the rubber on windshield wipers; if they’re already in bad condition, have them replaced. Dusty road conditions can choke up engines and decrease engine efficiency and cause damage so we also recommend getting the filters checked. You should also get the oil changed and fluids refilled.
Because high temperatures increase the occurrence of tire blow outs, this is a good time to have your tires rotated and check the tire pressure and treads. Try the penny test to see if your treads are worn down or unsafe. If your tires are bald, don’t wait until the winter to change them as hydroplaning in a summer storm is just as dangerous as driving on snow and ice.
Brakes and brake pads are imperative; they should be inspected regularly, not just in the summer. You’ll also want to generally look over the car and make sure headlights, turn signals, brake lights and any trailer equipment for towing a camper or boat are all working properly.
If your vehicle hasn’t been serviced recently, or you don’t know its service history, schedule a maintenance check with your mechanic as soon as possible.
2. Pay Attention
With more drivers on the road, summertime can be more dangerous than it seems. Limiting distractions becomes even more important in order to prevent accidents. By focusing on the road, you can predict hazardous situations and give yourself time to safely avoid them.
Make any phone calls, send texts and program your navigation app before starting the car. Be aware that eating, adjusting the air conditioning and arguing with passengers can all be sources of distraction. It’s always better to pull over rather than trying to do other things while driving.
3. Look out for Pedestrians & Bikes
When the weather is nice, there are more pedestrians and bike traffic in all parts of town. Pedestrians, especially children, can be unpredictable. That’s why you should use caution when approaching an intersection or crosswalk and drive slower near parks, playgrounds, residential areas, beaches and community pools.
More bicycles share the roadways in the summer. In Pennsylvania, bikes are allowed on all types of streets and cars must give them at least 4 feet of clearance space when driving near them. Pennsylvania law also permits drivers to pass bikes even in no passing zones while maintaining the 4 feet of distance from any cyclists. Always use your turn signal before changing or merging lanes so that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists can predict your movement on the road and react accordingly.
4. Talk to Teens about Safety
Car accidents are the number one killer of teens in the country and the summer is one of the most dangerous times of year for teenage drivers. Talk to your teenager about the dangers of car collisions and the importance of safe driving; this includes avoiding distractions, limiting the number of passengers, reducing their speed and never driving while drowsy or intoxicated.
5. Plan Ahead of Time
Before heading out on a summer road trip, study your route and plan an alternative route. This will help reduce the incidence of collision because you can predict hazards that may come up and avoid heavy traffic or roads under construction.
Be Prepared this Summer
We should all keep safety as the most important priority when we get behind the wheel of the car, for ourselves, our passengers and everyone else on the road.
During the summer – and every day of the year – slow down, follow the laws, pay attention to the road and signage. If you are involved in a collision, according to the NHTSA, wearing your seatbelt will reduce the risk of injury or death by nearly 45%.
You should also be prepared in case of an emergency. Pack an emergency kit in your car with the following items:
- Cellphone and phone charger
- First aid kit
- A clean towel or blanket
- Emergency flares
- Jumper cables
- Basic repair tool
- Non-perishable snack foods
Quality Collision Repair
Badell’s Collision cares about your safety. Be careful on the roads this summer! Of course, if you need accident repairs services we are here to help. Come into one of our auto body shops in Aston and Malvern or use our simple online estimate form.