Summer Driving Safety Tips

Driving safety tips are applicable all-year round, but in the summer there are some special safety issues that should be kept in mind.

  • Watch out for children and pedestrians on the road. With summer and holidays, more children will be playing in the streets, and people will be out cycling, skating or walking.
  • Pay attention to stress and fatigue. The additional heat in summer and traffic delays can make you feel more tired and less alert than usual.
  • Look out for road constructions and detours as most road constructions take place during the summer.
  • Get your car tuned and serviced. All fluids, such as coolant, brakes, power steering, windshield…, should be checked and topped off.
  • Change belts and hoses. Heat and humidity can deteriorate rubber.
  • Optimize tire pressure. Be sure to check your car manual for optimum pressure level. Use seasonal tires if possible.
  • Keep drinks and health snacks in your car when going out on long drives or if you expect delays on the road.
  • If you are going on long-trips, take regular rest stops or take a break when you stop for fuel.
  • Keep a first-aid safety kit in your car. Make sure the contents of the box have fresh supplies.

Weather conditions in summer can pose special threats to driving safely. For example, overheating or sudden storms can create emergency situations.

Hot weather conditions can make you car overheat resulting in engine breakdowns. You should refer to your vehicle manual for proper cooling guidelines. Ideally the cooling system in your car should be completely flushed and refilled for maximum performance in the heat.

In case your car overheats and you need to refill the radiator do not open the radiator cap immediately after stopping the vehicle but wait until the engine has cooled down. The cap will be hot and pressurized steam might burst out from the radiator causing you injury. Also you must be take precautions to avoid contact with coolant. Additives in the coolant, such as anti-freeze, may contain chemicals that are injurious to health.

[Addendum] Cars are becoming increasingly complex. Modern cars have alternatives for adding coolant that does not require direct direct access to the radiator. Some have positive restraints and some cooling systems are sealed. In other words, if your vehicle overheats, it is generally advisable to call and wait for knowledgeable help.

Sudden storms in summer can create driving hazards that you might not have expected. Flash flooding, tornadoes and rain may require you to take immediate precautionary measures. If you come across water-crossings, get out of your car and check for the water depth before you attempt to cross it. Do not attempt to cross if the water is moving. Moving water is extremely dangerous and can easily sweep the car off the road.

If you sense bad weather approaching, turn on your radio and monitor the weather news. In case of tornadoes, seek shelter immediately. If the road is wet due to rain, reduce your car speed and drive carefully especially on curves.

For more tips on driving in summer and handling driving emergencies, here are some additional links:

Some CMV (Commercial Motor Vehical) driving safety training products that we offer: