Did you know that most car insurance claims and car damages occur in the summer months? As Canadians come out from winter hibernation, everyone is out and about soaking up what they can of the short summer months. With more people driving out on the roads than usual, there’s an increased risk for car accidents. In addition to the frequent drivers, there are other driving hazards that put drivers at risk during the summer months. Learn about what hazards you should be looking out for this season.
Sharing the Road
As the temperature increases, more bikers hit the roads. Whether it’s cyclists or drivers on motorcycles, their presence on the road increases during the summer. Pay attention to your surroundings and remember to be cognisant of the other drivers you share the road with. This includes not relying on car mirrors alone; always check your blind spot and be extra aware of who is around you when switching lanes and turning. By doing this, you will limit the risk of dangerous accidents that put you and others at risk.
The Season of Construction
As road and highway repairs begin or resume in the summer months, many roads will be under construction. Follow the construction zone speed limits to protect your car from being hit with gravel, material or unsafe debris. Slowing down will ensure your car does not veer off path on uneven ground, protecting you, the drivers and workers around you. Also, follow the speed limit to protect construction workers on the job site. The summer months are when the majority of the construction worker’s workplace injuries occur.
Rock your Sunglasses
A common seasonal driving hazard during the summer is unfavourable weather conditions. The strong glaring sun can limit your view, so ensure you are wearing UV protecting sunglasses or are utilizing the mirror above the driver’s seat to block the sun. Be careful on the roads during heavy summer rainfall, as the humidity and rain can cause hydroplaning. Be mindful to shut windows and sun-roofs to protect your car from surprise rain showers damaging your interiors.
Watch Those Tires
A summer driving hazard that occurs during the summer are tire blowouts. The frequency increases during the warmer months due to a variety of reasons. Construction debris like nails or sharp material and unfinished uneven gravel roads can cause flat tires. Potholes that may have been covered in ice throughout the winter are now a hazard to your car tires. As winter tires are swapped out for summer tires, it’s important to continually check for your tire pressure. If your tire pressure is too low, the increase in friction overheats the tire increasing the probability of a break in the material. Tires are an important part of keeping yourself and others safe on the road.
It’s Just Too Hot
Cars, just like people, can overheat in intense temperatures and from being left out in the scorching sun. If you notice smoke coming from your engine or it is beginning to overheat while driving, pull over safely, shut off the ignition and allow the engine to recuperate. When parking your car at your destination, look for a spot in the shade to limit your car’s exposure to the sunlight’s heat.
Be Mindful of How You Feel
Long days out in the sun and late summer nights can take its toll. Most people feel lethargic, drowsy, tired, dehydrated and may not be very alert after spending too much time in the sun or exposed to heat. Be mindful of how you feel before getting behind the wheel by taking the time to self-assess how you’re feeling and if you can safely navigate your vehicle and the roads.
Scan Your Surroundings
With the majority of the community out on the roads and sidewalks during the summer months, you have a responsibility to be aware of them. Now more than ever, with social isolation guidelines enforced, many more families and people are out on the road. Pay attention at pedestrian sidewalks and especially on the roads as more people are riding bikes and walking on the side of the road to enforce social distancing. Look out for pedestrians in your community to ensure you are keeping yourself and them safe.
Enjoy your summer and prepare for these driving hazards to ensure the roads are smooth and safe all summer long. If you are yet to insure your vehicle, purchase an auto insurance package that is tailored to your needs from a licensed broker at Oracle RMS. By being alert and prepared of driving hazards in your area, you’re one step closer to an easy breezy summer.