Summertime is here across the U.S. Schools are out for the summer and the weather is heating up. And with fewer COVID restrictions this year, we can expect to see more people traveling and taking road trips. With more cars on the road, it’s a good time to revisit some hot weather driving safety tips.
Even if you’re not planning a long trip this summer, keeping your vehicle ready for the hot weather is still important. Summertime driving can be very different from winter-weather driving.
Read on for our favorite hot weather driving safety tips as you prepare to hit the road this summer!
Enjoy the Summer With Our Hot Weather Driving Safety Tips
Follow these tips to get your vehicle summer-ready and enjoy the long days safely:
Schedule a vehicle tune-up.
If your vehicle needs any repairs or maintenance, now is the time. But even if nothing is overdue, it’s still a good idea to have your vehicle serviced by a professional at the start of the summer season. They can top off fluids you’ll need for road trips and add air to your tires that may have changed pressure with the changing air temperatures. And don’t forget about your windshield wipers — if you live in a cold winter climate, your wipers can get damaged from ice and freezing conditions. But summertime often brings heavy rainstorms so stay safe by replacing your wipers at the start of summer.
Double-check the A/C.
Before setting out on a long road trip, check that your air conditioning is in good working order. Losing your air conditioning on a hot day can be more than an inconvenience when the outside temperatures soar during the height of the day. Elderly people, infants, and those with certain health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the heat — and since summertime traffic jams are common in many parts of the country having good A/C is important.
Make sure your children still fit properly in their car seats.
If you have children, make sure they haven’t outgrown their car seats or booster seats before your summertime road trip. As your child ages and grows, they’ll transition from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing one, then finally to a booster seat. And until they are 13 years old, kids are safer in the backseat. If you do have to purchase a new car seat, make sure you know how to install it properly.
Keep a summertime emergency kit in your vehicle.
You may already have a winter emergency kit you keep in your trunk during the colder months, and you can transition your emergency kit to a summer one with a few swaps. Remove the cold-weather items like your snow scraper and deicer to make room for some summer essentials. Consider keeping bottled water, a first aid kit, and extra windshield washer fluid on hand. Packets of electrolyte solutions store easily and mix with a bottle of water to help with dehydration. If you don’t already carry things like jumper cables, flares, and a flashlight those items are useful in any weather conditions. Finally, you can easily include an extra mobile phone charger or battery pack.
Don’t forget to keep your pet safe.
Are you planning to travel with your pet this summer? With some extra planning, your fur friend can stay safe in the car, too. While holding your dog on your lap while driving can be fun, it can also be a dangerous distraction. Securing Fido with a pet seatbelt, mesh divider, or other restraint made for dogs is a safer option. Bring plenty of extra water for your pup and a bowl you can set out for them. Take lots of breaks to let your pup stretch, drink, and be active. Avoid leaving your pup in the car as the temperatures can quickly become unsafe. And consider pet insurance to have added peace of mind during your travels.
Stay alert in heavier traffic.
There are more vehicles on the roads in the summertime and sometimes tempers flare along with the rising mercury. Keep yourself safe by practicing defensive driving — and consider taking a driving safety course to keep your skills fresh. Road rage incidents happen often and are dangerous to all the drivers on the road. Stay alert and practice safe, courteous driving at all times.
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