Students are free from their classrooms. People are traveling, spend time with friends, and exploring the Lone Star State. When it comes to driving, we often consider winter to be the more hazardous season. However, there are a number of dangerous road conditions and hazards that you should keep a lookout for in summer as well.
School’s Out and Hazards Await
Because school is out for summer, there are more kids out and about. Lots of inexperienced drivers are traveling to summer jobs or to hang out with friends. Often, they are driving through busy areas but with very little understanding of how to navigate them. It is important to practice defensive driving and watch out for inexperienced or dangerous drivers on the road. If you are a parent, do not allow your teens to drive until they are licensed and you know they will behave responsibly.
Not only are teen drivers an additional obstacle to summer driving, but younger kids are also a potential hazard as well. Since kids are out of school, they will often be found playing in their yards and the streets or riding bikes and skateboarding.
Keep your eyes peeled for balls that roll into the street. There may be a small person running after them without paying attention to their surroundings. Children running, playing, skating, and biking may not be as cognizant of traffic as they should be. Do everyone a favor and drive defensively.
Hurricane Season and Summer Rains
Hurricane season and rain are Texas staples. Even when a hurricane does not come into the state at full speed, we are often still impacted by the heavy rains. Heavy rain creates dangerous situations like the following:
- Slick roads
- Poor visibility
To avoid accidents due to rainy summer days, avoid driving if possible. If you must drive, do so in a vehicle that is properly maintained and regularly inspected.
Extreme Heat Leads to Overheated Engines
Texas is hot in the summer. That is putting it mildly if we are being honest. Because of the extreme temperatures, often in the high 90s and even the 100s, your car’s engine may overheat as well. To avoid your car getting too hot, here are a few suggestions:
- Check coolant levels and top off as needed
- Frequently change your oil
- Keep essentials on hand in case you are stranded. The essentials we suggest are water, snacks, flashlights, phone chargers, and portable chargers.
Potholes and Rough Road Conditions
In Texas, the heat and heavy rain have done a number on some of the roads. Some roads are covered with potholes and rough conditions. Avoiding potholes can go a long way to helping keep your car aligned.
If you are not aware of an upcoming pothole and hit it the wrong way, your vehicle could be damaged, or you could be involved in an accident. Do your best to avoid potholes.
Vacation Traffic Adds to Congestion
Texas has many great places to visit — state and national parks, beaches, mountains, deserts, lakes, streams, rivers, big cities and small towns, historical sites, and more. People who live in Texas visit these sites but so do others who come to the state for vacation. Since kids are out of school, many people choose to travel in the summer months.
Summertime travel adds to the congestion on many roads, causing traffic delays and headaches for all involved. The more people you share the road with, the more likely there will be an automobile accident. Drivers often become aggressive and annoyed with the extra traffic, which is an additional driving hazard.
Tourists may not be familiar with the area, causing them to drive unpredictably. When changing lanes, turning at intersections, and the like, they may be confused about where to go or what to do. There is nothing you can do about the traffic, but you can be cautious, remain alert, not drink and drive, and follow the rules of the road.
Leave a little earlier than you normally would if you have somewhere you need to be at a specific time. Doing so will alleviate any pressure you feel to speed or drive recklessly to make an appointment on time.
Summertime is the Time to Get Outside
When the weather is sunny and warm, everyone is ready to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. People bike, walk, run, jog, take motorcycle rides, and go skating. Take extra care to share the road with all the people who are outside enjoying the summertime.
If you are one of the people outside, wear bright and reflective clothing, follow traffic safety laws, and be attentive at all times. Enjoy your day. Fun summer days should not end in the emergency room.
Roads Under Construction Cause Hazards
Lots of road construction is scheduled during the warmer months. This can mean extra time navigating road work. Adhere to the rules of maneuvering the construction and watch out for workers. You would not want anyone driving a speeding car through your workplace, so return the favor so you can all go home safely at the end of the day.
When you know there is going to be road construction in your path, pad in enough extra time to avoid getting bogged down with it. Leave earlier than would normally be necessary and consider alternate routes.
Blowouts and Flat Tires
Summer weather is tough on tires. This can make them candidates for dangerous blowouts. If your tires are not well maintained, to begin with, you may be facing compounded problems. Blowouts that happen on the highway and traveling at faster speeds can endanger you and other motorists who are traveling nearby.
Pay attention to your vehicle’s tires and make sure they have plenty of tire tread so you can ensure that you have plenty of traction. As a licensed driver, you are obligated to maintain your car. Its safety affects others who you share the road with. To avoid blowouts and flat tires, inspect yours regularly.
Drive Safely, and Have a Great Summer
With a little extra care, you can avoid many driving hazards prevalent in the summer months. Follow all safety laws, rest when you need to, do not drive under the influence, and watch out for others. Following these steps can help you have a safe and enjoyable summer season.