Articles Top Summer Driver Safety Tips

Top Summer Driver Safety Tips

Principal Author / Publisher:Safetyhow Admin
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“Tonight, tonight the strip’s just right I wanna blow ’em off in my first heat Summer’s here and the time is right For racing in the street.”
•Bruce Springsteen, Racing in the Street   Safety Tips for Summer Driving   Bruce Springsteen is a brilliant songwriter and musician, but leaves much to be desired as a provider of summer driver safety tips. Summer may be a terrific time to watch drag racing, but when you take the wheel, here is a checklist for staying safe on the summer roadways:
  • •Check your tire pressure. Changes in air temperature affect tire pressure. After a cold winter, your tires may be underinflated. Check air pressure with your own pressure gauge or at a gas station. If your vehicle has an internal tire pressure monitoring system, that’s great, but it doesn’t hurt to double check to make sure it’s working properly.
  • •Get the salt off. Depending on where you live, winter roads can be more salt than asphalt. Make sure your car gets a thorough washing, especially the undercarriage, because salt is highly corrosive and causes serious, permanent damage.
  • •Change your oil. Winter driving is tough driving, so by summer your vehicle should be more than ready for an oil change. Oil changes are easy to delay but never should be. Fresh oil allows your engine to work cooler and more efficiently — very important at all times.
  • •Beat the heat. One of the more unpleasant driving experiences is getting into a vehicle that has been sitting outside in the heat and humidity for any length of time — it can make a steam bath seem like an ice bath. In all seriousness, extreme heat inside your vehicle can be more than unpleasant. It can be a serious danger to you and your passengers. To minimize heat buildup and the consequences when your vehicle is parked:
  • •Leave car windows open to allow air to circulate.
  • •Close the sunroof to keep sunlight from pouring in.
  • •Park in shaded areas.
  • •Use a sunshade on your windshield.
  • •Keep a big bottle of water or other hydrating beverage in the car.
  • •Be mindful of grabbing the steering wheel in a hot car, or letting your child grab it. The same mindfulness is needed for sitting on leather upholstery or touching metallic parts of your vehicle’s interior and exterior door handles, console and dashboard.
  • •Never, ever leave children, elderly people or pets in the car in even mildly hot conditions.
  • •Check your air-conditioning system. Speaking of heat, don’t let your vehicle’s air conditioner fail you when you need it most. Start summer with a thorough inspection of the air conditioner, including system pressure, refrigerant level, cooling temperature, hoses, belts and connections. Leak tests should be included in the inspection, and it may be necessary to flush old refrigerant and replace it.
  • •Don’t let bugs bug you or tar tarnish your summer. Insects descend en masse during the summer in many parts of the country, creating a mess on vehicle windshields and grills. Similarly, parts of the country joke there are only two seasons: winter and road construction season. With road construction comes tar, which adheres stubbornly to bottom portions of any vehicle that drives over it. Fortunately, several effective bug and tar removers are available — so make sure you have some in your garage.
     
Preparing your vehicle for summer driving makes the season all the more enjoyable. If lack of diligence leads to a stalled vehicle or driving through a heat wave with no air conditioning, you may even find yourself longing for winter. Don’t let that happen! Summer’s here, and the time is right for driving safely in the street.
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