Summer Driving: 5 ways to survive (and stay accident-free) in the heat
By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert
Year after year, the summer season proves to be a wonderful time for families across San Diego County. Beach days, coastal drives and even day trips to Julian or Temecula’s wine country are just some of the summer essentials of living in San Diego. But despite the festivities of warm weather, the heat can prove dangerous in the face of safe driving.
The truth is that no matter what kind of mild climate we may enjoy in San Diego, our cars are still subjected to the harmful effects of the sun. Deteriorated rubber and overheating are just some of the ways our vehicles are affected by summer heat. And not only that, but the summer months also introduce plenty of parties, which brings DUI car accident prevention to light.
With the warm weather just around the corner, here’s what you can do to stay safe and reduce your risk of getting into a car accident during the summer months.
5 SUMMER DRIVING & CAR MAINTENANCE TIPS
Check your tires. One of the first materials to give into the summer heat is car tires. Rubber materials are notorious for deteriorating and falling apart in direct sunlight. Avoid a blowout – check your tires at the beginning and end of every summer season.
Take a look underneath the hood. Just like tires, summer heat can deteriorate belts and hoses as well. Take a peek underneath your hood and look for small cracks in any exposed belt or hose. You should make sure belts appear tight while hoses are fastened securely.
Be careful when hauling heavy loads. If you’re planning a move this summer or even if you are towing a boat, make sure to equip your vehicle with the right coolant additive to avoid being stuck on the side of the road. Overheating is one of the quickest ways to cause a car accident in San Diego since shoulder use can increase your chance of being hit, so be careful and be proactive prior to carrying heavy loads.
Plan your road trip ahead of time. Road trips are the quintessential summer staple. But when it comes to road safety, it’s never been more important to plan your trips ahead of time including rest stops and hotel stays. You should also consider mapping out the nearest gas stations in case you travel in remote areas. A GPS device may be a good idea to have since it can help you map your road trip (though, you should never use the GPS device while driving since it can serve as a distraction).
Designate a driver. Nothing says summer like a BBQ party and an ice cold beer. But when it comes to summer festivities and your safety, preplanning is one of the best ways to avoid an accident – and stay alive. Always designate a driver prior to enjoying your alcoholic beverages, or consider prepaying your taxi ride home ahead of time. If hosting a party, make sure to do so responsibly and cut off alcoholic beverages at least one hour before the party ends. Also, be sure to serve plenty of protein and carbohydrates to help balance the consumption of alcohol.