When people think of the most dangerous season to be out on the roads, most of them will probably think winter poses the most hazards. After all, in Northeast Ohio especially, icy roads and low visibility during a blizzard will certainly impair many drivers.
However, you should consider the fact that less people will be traveling on those snowy streets in the winter. Summertime is when people plan road trips or just will be out a lot more enjoying the nice weather. And more people on the road can equal more accidents. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over a ten year period spanning 2002-2012 there were far more accidents caused by wet pavement than by icy roads (around 960,000 crashes compared to around 155,000).
Be Aware of Summer Driving Hazards
Knowing what types of summer driving hazards you can encounter during the warmer months will make you a safer, confident driver. Here are just a few of the top summer driving hazards:
More inexperienced drivers on the road. School’s out, so more teens will be driving around daily during the summer, whether to a job or to hang out with friends. Research has shown that more accidents occur among teen drivers over the summer months, so it’s important to be mindful of these young drivers.
Summer storms. A summer storm can bring vast amounts of rainfall in a very short period of time, leading to drivers hydroplaning or slippery, wet pavement. If you aren’t sure how deep a puddle ahead of you might be, the safest thing to do is to turn around and find another route.
Roads in need of repair. Summer is also high time for road construction- sometimes it feels like no matter which way you go, you’ll encounter road work! Plus, winter tends to leave many roads stricken with numerous potholes, so make sure you pay attention to where you’re going.
Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Cars won’t be the only thing on the roads over the summer! People will be out walking and biking, and motorcyclists will be out enjoying rides, too. Stay alert, especially at stoplights and intersections, and make sure to share the road with others.
More tire blowouts. The hot weather can cause the air inside your tires to expand, and if your wheels are getting worn out, this can easily lead to a blowout. Checking the air pressure in your tires often over the warmer months is crucial to help avoid this from happening.
Excess heat and sun. On a very hot day, your engine is at risk for overheating, especially if you’re blasting your air conditioning. Pull over to let your engine cool down for a bit if this happens. Also, don’t forget that YOU can overheat, too! Try to stay hydrated in the car and keep some cool water at hand, if possible.